Hand Tools Rule When You Follow Hand Tool Rules!
You wouldn’t have gotten as far as you have in the contractor business if you didn’t know a thing or two about hand tools. They are, after all, a necessity in the business.
Sometimes, however, familiarity and over-confidence can breed carelessness, so it never hurts to have a hand tool safety refresher once-in-a-while. Hitting your thumb with a hammer could be minor compared to the damage hand tools can do when not used properly or safely. If you find yourself slipping into some unsafe practices, refer to these reminders and get yourself back on track.
- Need a hammer? Grab a hammer! Screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, and the other tools in your toolbox aren’t substitute hammers. Use each tool for its intended use only, and be sure you’re using it correctly.
- Even simple tools can require some instruction. If you’ve never used a certain tool before, ask for help.
- Check tools often and replace if worn or damaged.
- Frequent cleaning can help tools last longer, which can also ensure their reliability and safety. Lightly oil metal tools, and store in a clean, dry place.
- Keep cutting edges sharp, but don’t test sharpness with your fingers!
- Make sure the tool fits the job, both for size and functionality.
- Carry your sharp and pointed tools correctly—never put them in your pockets, and hand-carry them with cutting edges pointing toward the ground.
- Be sure you and your tools are secure when working on ladders or scaffolding.
- Don’t underestimate the value of safety goggles, face shields, gloves, work boots, and other protective equipment. It may seem like a time-waster to put on extra gear for a simple, 15-minute task; but, if metal chips are flying or you drop a wrench, you’ll be glad you “wasted” that time.
Following a laundry list of safety tips won’t help you get the job done the fastest, but they’ll certainly help you get it done more safely. And that saves time in the long run.
Safe@Work is brought to you by Federated Insurance®. This article is for general information and risk prevention purposes only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. It is not a guarantee that the risk of loss will be eliminated or reduced. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances. The information is accurate as of November 2014 and is subject to change.
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