2 CONTENTS General Requirements Power Tools Pneumatic Tools Hand Tools Powder/Cartridge Actuated ToolsGeneral Requirements - In this section we will look at means of protecting employees against injury when using hand and power tools. Typical ways of achieving this are:- SPA’s (Safe Plan of Action)- Employee protection- Carrying out the workPower tools may be defined as tools which utilize electrical energy sources in order to operate.Pneumatic tools utilize pressurized air in order for them to operate.Hand tools - any tool when the user must apply physical forces in order to operate the tool.Powder/cartridge actuated tools are those which utilize a powder charge (much like a gun) as their source of power.
3 OVERVIEWHand and power tools have become vital components in nearly all tasks we do.For this reason, training on the correct use of hand and power tools is essential.Hand and power tools have become vital components in nearly all tasks we do. Their widespread use both on and off the job dictates the need for following established safety practices to prevent injury to ourselves and others in the work area.Since nearly everyone in the construction industry at sometime will need to use hand or power tools, we need to be aware of the hazards associated with these tools. Training therefore is essential in the correct use of hand and power tools.
4 OBJECTIVEIn the following sections we will look at both general and specific requirements to be followed when using hand and power tools.
5 EMPLOYEE PROTECTION Use of hand tools around electrical equipment Use of hand tools when working from elevationsDo not use cheater barsDo not pull towards your faceEnsure hand tools are insulated to appropriate levels when working on or around exposed electrical sources. When ever possible de-energise electrical sources and follow approved lock out and tag out procedures.Do not throw hand tools to or from elevated platforms, use an approved tool carrier to raise and lower tools. Do not use the power cord to raise and lower portable power tools.Cheater bars would generally be used to gain more leverage, an example of this would be to place a scaffolding bar over the end of a pry bar or wrench. The problem with this system is that we subject tools to pressure they are not designed for and should they break, personal injury or property damage can result.Do not pull spanners, wrenches, pry bars, etc. towards your face, should the tools slip serious facial injuries can result.
6 EMPLOYEE PROTECTIONNever hold a tool while it is being struck by someone elseAlways use the correct tool for the jobReport any damaged or defective equipmentUse an approved method for holding an object that is being struck by someone else. Tongs would be an example. Injuries can result from simple tasks such as driving wooden fence posts in to the ground or driving earth electrodes in to the ground.Always use the correct tool for the job. Statistics have shown that many injuries occur through the wrong selection of tools.Any damaged or defective equipment should be reported to your supervisor immediately and taken out of service until it has been repaired. Should equipment be damaged beyond repair, discard it in an approved manner.
7 EMPLOYEE PROTECTION Be comfortable with the equipment you are using Ensure all power has been isolated before changing or repairing any parts of the equipmentBe sure you are comfortable with the equipment you are using. Some equipment such as Hilti guns and grinders may require some specialised training before use. If in doubt check it out.Be sure to isolate electrical power tools before changing drill bits, grinder discs, etc. Power tools can be accidentally activated and serious injuries can result.
8 EMPLOYEE PROTECTION Always inspect equipment before use Storage of equipmentSafe Plan of Action (SPA)Inspect equipment before use for any cracks or obvious damage, check the insulation on electrical tools for damage before use. Remember, any damaged equipment should be discarded.When leaving for breaks or going home store all hand and power tools in an approved storage area. Equipment may be damaged while unattended, environmental conditions such as rain, freezing conditions and high temperatures can have damaging effects on hand and power tools.Be sure to complete an SPA for the task you are about to perform. This will help you identify the hazards associated with the task and also help you select the correct tools and equipment to carry out the task safely.
9 POWER TOOLS Inspect before use 110v Heavy duty power tools must have second handleSecure all material being worked onExtension cordsAlways inspect equipment before each use. Check for any insulation defects, plug top damage, ensure that power tools have been tagged with the current colour coding.All portable power tools must be 110V fed from a step down transformer, any exceptions to this require written approval from JIDC.Heavy duty power tools must be fitted with a second handle. This allows the user to maintain control of the equipment and removes the risk of injury.Use approved methods for securing materials being worked on such as a vice or “G” clamps. Do not hold objects between feet when drilling, grinding, etc.Extension cords should be kept as short as possible and routed in such a way as not to cause obstructions or trip hazards. Inspect cords before each use, ensure approved sockets and plug tops are attached V cable must be braided for mechanical protection. Any damaged extension cords must be reported immediately.
10 POWER TOOLS Ensure guards are in place Raising / lowering power tools Emergency Off (EMO) foot pedalsPPE requirements220v cables must have an RCD protectionIdentified by company nameMany power tools are fitted with safety guards on purchase, these guards are designed and fitted for the protection of employees. Do not remove safety guards. Report to your supervisor should power tools you are about to use be missing parts. Power tools that are missing guards should be classed as damaged and removed from service until repaired.Do not raise and lower power tools from elevated platforms, ladders, etc. by using the power cord. This can lead to damaged cords and also loosen terminals within the appliance, short circuits, fire or electrical shock can result.Fixed bench drills, band saws, bench grinders, grinding wheels must have emergency cut out devices fitted. Foot pedals are also used as an added safety feature on stationary power tools.On completion of an SPA all PPE requirements will have been identified. If unsure contact the Safety Department or follow manufactures guidelines.220 v extension cords must be braided for extra mechanical protection and colour coded for the month.For auditing and security reasons all plant and power tools must have the owners/company name clearly printed on them.
11 PNEUMATIC TOOLS Follow manufacture’s guidelines Inspect equipment before useEnsure good connection to air supplyPersonal Protection Equipment (PPE) requirementsIdentified by company namePneumatic tools are those that use air as their source of power. Though not as common as electrical tools, they are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry where the use of electricity is impractical or unsafe.Follow manufactures guidelines. The manufactures will have specific guidelines to be followed concerning the equipment being used. Such as fittings to be used, the type of air supply, connection to the air supply and maintenance requirements.Pneumatic tools must be connected to an air compressor. Never connect pneumatic tools to an oxygen line will cause the oxygen to mix with the oil in your tool resulting in an explosion and fire.Inspect equipment before use to ensure no physical mechanical damage. All hose lines should be colour coded.Connections to the air supply must be done by following manufactures guidelines, use only approved couplings and fittings.Eyes, face and hearing protection must be worn when working with pneumatic tools.Owners or company name must be visible on the equipment.
12 HAND TOOLS Screwdrivers Hammers Pliers Wrenches Chisels / Punches Pry BarsFilesKnivesIn the following section on hand tools we will look at both general and specific requirements to be followed when working with hand tools.Many injuries occur in the construction industry through following poor work practices when using hand tools.Hand tools are normally light weight hand held tools used by one worker for the purpose of accomplishing a particular task. They come in numerous types and sizes each with a specific purpose. They should only be used for the purpose for which they were designed.
13 SCREWDRIVERS Selection / Inspection / Rejection (SIR) Do not use a pry barNever hold your work in your handDo not hammer on the end of a screwdriverInsulation rating for electrical workScrewdrivers have one principal purpose, to loosen and tighten screws. They are designed to withstand considerable twisting force in proportion to their size. However, the screwdriver, like any other, has limitations and safety requirements that must be followed.Always select the right screwdriver for the job. Screwdrivers come in many different sizes so the thickness of the blade will fit correctly into the slot of the screws. Inspect the screwdriver for physical damage to the head of insulation. Reject any damaged screwdrivers.Do not use a screwdriver as a pry bar. The blade is hardened to keep it from wearing and the harder it is the easier it will break.Numerous injuries have resulted from slipping screwdrivers penetrating the palm of the hand.A screwdriver is not a chisel and the handle can easily crack and split resulting in an injury.Insure your screwdriver has the correct insulation rating if you are performing electrical work.
14 HAMMERS Selection / Inspection / Rejection (SIR) Do not “choke” the hammerNever allow someone to hold an object you will be hitting with a hammerHammers are available in many different types and styles and are normally classified according to their purpose and the weight of the head without the handle. As simple as they are, there are right and wrong ways to use a hammer.Always select the right hammer for the job. Each hammer is designed with a specific purpose in mind. Inspect each hammer prior to use. Look for loose, cracked or damaged handles. Check to see that the wedge in the end of the handle is present and driven securely.Don’t “choke” the hammer. Grip near the end of the handle and strike the object with the full face of the hammer.Never allow someone to hold an object you will be hitting with a hammer. Serious injury may result to fingers and hands, arms and wrists if the hammer misses its intended target.
15 PLIERS Selection / Inspection / Rejection (SIR) Avoid using pliers on hardened surfacesDo not use for tightening or loosening nuts and boltsNever pull towards your facePliers are also manufactured in a variety of types and sizes, each with a specific purpose. Although being quite useful for many purposes, pliers are not without limitations and should be used with these limitations in mind.Again, select and inspect the pliers before undertaking the work. Reject any damaged pliers.Avoid using pliers on hardened surfaces. Pliers can become dull and loose their grip.Do not use pliers for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts. Use a wrench instead.Never pull pliers toward your face, Serious injury might result if the pliers slip.
16 WRENCHES Selection / Inspection / Rejection (SIR) Never pull towards your faceEnsure snug fitDo not use cheater barAlthough there are numerous types of wrenches, all have the same basic function, to assist in the removal of nuts and bolts and all have the same basic safety rules that must be followed. Some typical wrenches to be found:- open-end wrenches- adjustable wrenches- box wrenches- hammer wrenchesSelect the correct wrench for the job, inspect prior to use to ensure they are free of cracks or other defect. Reject any damaged equipment.Never pull a wrench toward your face or any other part of the body.Make sure the wrench you are using fits snugly on the bolt or nut to avoid slipping.Never use a cheater bar on a wrench or “double wrench” a nut, use a hammer wrench instead.
17 CHISELS / PUNCHES Selection / Inspection / Rejection (SIR) Use the correct hammer and keep your focusBeware of mushroomed headsPersonal Protection Equipment (PPE)Proper storageChisels and punches are manufactured from hardened and tempered high carbon steel. This process is what gives them the ability to withstand heavy hammer blows without bending or breaking.Select the right tool for the job (e.g. wood chisels are not designed for use on metal surfaces and will easily break). Inspect the tool before use. The cutting surface of a chisel should be sharp without any gouges or indentations and the pointed surface of a punch must be smooth and not splintered. Be sure chisels and punches have no “mushroomed” edges.Use a hammer that is heavy enough for the task being performed, a small hammer with a big chisel will make the job very difficult. Maintain a good grip and keep your eyes focused.Dress down any mushroomed heads on chisels and punches.Be sure you have obtained all necessary PPE to carry out the task safely.Ensure all equipment is stored correctly when not in use.
18 PRY BARS Selection / Inspection / Rejections (SIR) Bite of the bar Maintain good balanceCheck the work areaDo not use cheater barPry bars are designed for achieving leverage and prying other objects. They too come in a variety of sizes and shapes to accommodate a wide range of work situations and must be used properly to avoid injury and tool damage.Again, select, inspect, rejectBe sure the bite of the bar is secure under the object to be pried by first applying light pressure to ensure it doesn’t slip.Maintain the proper balance while prying. This will help to avoid a stumble or fall if the bar slips.Check the work area around you for any tools or equipment that could interface with your work and cause you to stumble or fall while prying.Never use a cheater bar with a pry bar. This could result in damage or breakage of the tool. If you need a longer pry bar, get one.
19 FILES Selection / Inspection / Rejection (SIR) Ensure handles are fittedDo not use as pry barsStorageThere are more than 20 types of files used in industry today. They range from three to eighteen inches and vary in coarseness depending on the size and spacing of the teeth.Before attempting to use any file, it must be fitted with a handle. Often the tang (the tapered end that fits into the handle) is very sharp and can result in a sever laceration or puncture to the hand.Files must not be used as pry bars. The tang is soft and bends easily. The body of the file is hard and very brittle and will break when a bending force is applied. Never hammer on a file, or use a file as a hammer. This may cause the file to shatter causing small fragments to fly.When not in use ensure files are stored correctly, as files can rust in damp conditions and become useless.
20 KNIVES Selection / Inspection / Rejection (SIR) Retractable blades PPE requirementsCut away from your bodyDo not use your leg as a restThe use of knives in the construction industry continues to result in personnel injuries. For this reason they should only be used when absolutely necessary and should not be used in the place of another tool which is more suited for the task.Remember, select, inspect, rejectStanley knives must have retractable blades so there is no risk of lacerations when the knife is in storage.Where possible gloves should be worn when using sharp blades.Never cut toward you body. Position the work so you will be pushing the knife away from you when cutting. Do not hold small objects while cutting, use a vice.Do not rest the object to be cut on your leg or any other part of your body. Use a work bench.
21 POWDER / CARTRIDGE OPERATED TOOLS Selection / Inspection / rejection (SIR)Specific training requirementsManufacturing guidelinesPPE requirementsSignageDo not leave tools loadedProper storagePowder/cartridge operated tools are used to fasten various building materials and anchors to concrete, masonry and structural steel. They represent the same type of hazard as a loaded gun and must be used with safety as the primary concern.Only trained and authorized operators may use powder actuated tools. Training must be conducted by an authorized manufactures representative and must be specific to the type of tool the operator will be using.Follow manufactures guidelines.Goggles and face shields, along with hearing protection must be worn by the tool operator and his co-workers.Use signage to inform workers in the area of the operation of powder actuated tools.Never carry a loaded tool. Tools must be unloaded and properly stored in a designated area at the completion of the work, or any time it will be left unattended.
22 CONCLUSION Please SIR Follow general requirements Training Never hold a tool while it is being struck by someone elseReport any damaged or defective equipmentPortable power tools (110v)220v cables must be RCD protected