Many industries require employees to use equipment and tools in their daily jobs. One common form of tools are hand tools. This includes-among others- items such as hack saws, screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, punches, and bench vises. These tools can be a friend to the worker as they can add efficiency and safety to the task at hand.
However, these same tools can present hazards to workers as well. There are several reasons for this. The following are hazards that can be present concerning hand tools and why they can be a “foe” for the worker:
- A dull hack saw can break easily and will require the worker to use too much force against the tool to get it to accomplish the task
- Screwdrivers are sometimes used as punches or hammers and can cause the employee to stab their hands or other body parts when using them in this improper manner
- Wrenches can slip off the part being worked on if it doesn’t fit the part correctly
- Punches and hammers can be a hazard if the heads become “mushroomed” causing them to send debris flying when they are struck against an object, or they can completely fail due to the damage on the surface of the tool
The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) requires employees to be trained on how to recognize the hazards of hand tools. The employer has the legal responsibility to provide this training. Training would involve the following, at a minimum:
- How to inspect the hand tools properly
- How to properly handle/operate the tool
- How to use the tool for its intended purpose- according to manufactures’ requirements/guidelines
- How to keep the tools in good working condition (maintenance programs)
A-C-T offers high level training covering the OSHA Standards related to Hand Tool Safety. Our courses offer a hands-on approach to learning. Call us today to see how our industry-leading instructors can assist your organization.