How To Ensure Hand Tools Safety?

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hand tools safety

Hand tools safety is essential for every one i.e workers at workplace or individuals at homes. Hand tools seems harmless and hazard free, while the fact is that it can cause serious injuries.

Once upon a time I was working in my home, I was just using a small driller to make a very small hole in an electronics board. My son “he was about 4 years old then” was beside me.

The hand tool I used then is an electrical small sized driller. I used it with no safety  precautions.

Suddenly a metallic small part of the driller was broken and flied away as a bullet in the air.

I was chocked because I then realized that my eyes, and the most important, my little son’s eyes were about to be seriously injured by the flying part.

Of course I stopped the work and understood the lesson, The lesson is Never ever neglect hand tools safety and use PPE!

After then Safety became my first priority, At home, at work, in my car and almost every where.

Even if I’m not a safety engineer, In fact I’m an electrical engineer, My safety engineers colleagues in my work respect my safety culture so much, and always appreciate my reports about safety issues around me in workplace.

Read our article about What is personal protective equipment – PPE

Also to know more about PPE types and uses read our detailed article  Types of personal protective equipment 

What are the hazards of hand tools?

The most common injuries that hand tools can cause are:

  • Cuts and punctures, Sharp tools like all cutting tools are manufactured to cut. Misusing these tools can cause serious cuts. Any sharp hand tool can cause cuts,

My colleague’s thumb has puncture with a screwdriver, the screwdriver reached the bone of his thumb and caused him fiver and some issues.

  • Eye injuries, Some tasks produce flying parts normally, like cement breaking tasks or cutting metals, Also flying parts due to broken tools are common hazards of hand tools and are most dangerous if hit the eyes.
  • Broken bones and bruises,

I can’t count how many times I hit my fingers while I was using a hammer!

This is the simple shape of bruises, Of course the impact on your finger depends on the power you are hitting with.

Hand tools basic tips

  • Select the right tool for the job and use the tool as it is intended to do.
  • Always use good quality tools.
  • Check the tool before every use.
  • Check hammer handle and make sure it fit tightly into the head
  • Use a tool box to carry tools to and from the worksite.
  • Wear Personal protective equipment for each job. Notice that eye protection is essential at all tasks.
  • Keep tools clean and dry, Don’t use the tools with wet hands, oily or greasy hands.
  • Ensure proper tools storage when not in use.
  • Work on dry and clean floor to avoid slipping while working with hand tools.

Things to avoid when using hand tools?

To ensure hand tools safety avoid the following risky doings.

  • Never use tools for jobs they are not designed for i.e don’t use a screwdriver as a pry bar, or a screw driver’s hand as a hammer.
  • If you are working on an elevated structure such as a scaffold don’t let tools free to move around as they may fall down and cause serious injuries to any person under the scaffold.
  • When using cutting tools do not cut towards your or other’s body or hands.
  • Bulky gloves makes it hard to control the tool so do not wear them when using hand tools.
  • Hand tools and handle them directly to other workers DO NOT THROW ANY TOOLS!
  • When working on a height, use a bucket and hand line to raise and lower tools.
  • Make sure that sharp tools are safe when not in use i.e if the cutting tool is in your tools bag make sure to insert it in its casing.

Common causes of hand Tool injuries

Not only lack of experience is the cause of tools injuries but also over confidence can lead to serious injuries.

Inattention during work and distracted workers are likely to injure them selves and also the other workers near them.

Careless handling of tools specially cutting tools, And also the handling when working on a height by throwing tools is a real hazard.

Misusing the tools is one of the common causes of injuries.