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Hand Tool Snapshots

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Hand Tool Snapshots

  2. 2. The aim of these “snapshots” is to highlight certain points that are sometimes overlooked when compiling Risk Assessments or Task Instructions on “high risk” (frequently involved in incidents) hand tools, paying specific attention to ergonomics and safe use methods as described by the manufacturers of these tools. INTRODUCTION
  3. 3. Hand Tool Snapshots It is important to note that certain mitigating actions for hazards identified will be applicable to all hand tools. These would include, but not limited to, the following… Task Specific PPE Proper storage and control. Training on the safe use and maintenance of tools. Lanyards on all hand tools that are utilised at heights. Pre-Use Inspections. Line of Fire
  4. 4. Hammers: Claw/Ball Peen/4 Pound • Check the hammer before use. Look for firm attachment of the head to the handle. • Check for loose wrapping, or other defects in the handle. If the hammer has any defects or is wobbly, do not use it. Not only will it require more energy to use but it is an accident waiting to happen. • Get a firm grip on the handle. This will ensure that you don’t lose your hold on the hammer and have it flying out of your hand. • Hold the hammer at the end of the handle. • Hit your surface squarely with the hammer. Avoid banging a hammer sideways. Hit only with the head of the hammer and do not use the handle or the side of the hammer. • Use your whole arm and elbow. As well as maintaining a good grip, it is important to rely on the strength of your whole arm and elbow and not just rely on your wrist and hand to pound the hammer with. Most importantly, keep a straight wrist and allow the weight of the hammer itself to do the pounding, not your arm. • Place your work against a hard surface. Do not try to do hammering work a soft surfaces, since it requires more energy. • Work in a natural position wherever possible. If you cannot move your work, keep your position as neutral and as natural as you can. • Check before you swing. Keep your workspace clear of other objects and check that nobody is standing behind you or too near you when you use the hammer. You need plenty of space to swing the hammer without catching your arm or the hammer on another person or object. • If someone has to support the object you intend to strike…Remember FINGERSAVERS!! Mandatory PPE Other PPE that might be required…depending on the task environment. Protective Guards/Devices
  5. 5. Sledgehammer • A handle that is not securely fit to a sledgehammer is probably the most dangerous situation to avoid. Inspect your sledgehammer regularly and ensure that the handle is secure and tight. If it is not, have the handle replaced. Also check the head to ensure that it is free of cracks or distortion. In such cases, the sledgehammer must be replaced. Never attempt temporary fixes such as using glue or duct tape to attach broken parts of a sledgehammer. This could lead to dangerous, life-threatening accidents if the handle comes off and you lose control of the tool. • Ensure Adequate Clearance. Before operating a sledgehammer, make sure there are obstructions on the floor that you might trip on. This can lead to serious injury. Also ensure that there is enough room around you so that you can swing the hammer freely. Make sure people are a safe distance away, and that you have a secure footing in your work area. • When you use a sledgehammer, particles often chip off and fly around. These particles can cause serious injuries if they land on your face or eyes. It is therefore important to protect your face and eyes with tough safety goggles and a face shield. • Wear Protective Clothing. Full PPE at all times when utilizing a sledgehammer. • Avoid Using a Tool that is Too Heavy for You. Before you use it see if it fits your working method and body frame. Avoid sledgehammers that are too heavy for you to carry or work with. Also ensure that the handle is smooth and easy to carry. This is important to ensure that you can work with sledgehammer comfortably and safely over a long term. • Grasp the sledgehammer handle with both hands while the sledgehammer head is sitting on the ground and the handle is sticking up. You will need to use your strongest hand on the top toward the head, and the weaker hand on the bottom toward the end of the handle. Make sure that your hands are placed about six inches apart, but not so far apart that you feel strained. • If the object you intend to strike with the sledgehammer needs to be supported i.e. a spike driven into the ground, the person holding the object must be out of the line of fire. Remember FINGERSAVERS!! Mandatory PPE Other PPE that might be required…depending on the task environment. Protective Guards/Devices
  6. 6. Pickaxe • Pick axes are heavy tools which surprise many first time users and causes them to over exert themselves or lose control of their swing. So before you actually try to do any work with the pickaxe, pick it up and give it a few practice swings. Feel it's weight and make sure it is something that you feel comfortable swinging it over and over again. Do this slowly, practicing the basic pickaxe swinging technique. • The proper way to swing a pickaxe for a first time user is to bring the head of the pickaxe carefully back over your shoulder and focus on what you are trying to hit. Make sure the object is in front of you slightly so that you're not trying to hit something that is right by your feet, minimizing the chance of you driving the pick axe through your own foot or leg. Extend your arms when you bring the head of the pick axe forward and down so that the pick axe head has a better chance of striking directly wear you are aiming. Make sure you grip the handle tightly, so that the pickaxe can't slip out of your hand when it strikes what you are trying to hit, as this can cause it to ricochet and injure you. • Let the Weight Do the Work. The head of a pick axe is relatively heavy and just being swung from the height of your shoulder will effectively give it enough force to strike with some power. This means that you don't need to swing excessively hard to get the job done, giving you some more control over what you are trying to hit with the pickaxe. Also, swinging to hard can cause you to injure yourself in your arms, shoulders or back by possibly triggering a muscle pull. Mandatory PPE Other PPE that might be required…depending on the task environment. Other Considerations • Regular Breaks • Drink enough water • Clearance from other people • Correct Method used • Inspect the work area. Underground cables and Utilities.
  7. 7. Rakes and Shovels • Prior to use, always inspect the rake or shovel for defects or damage (e.g., loose, bent, or cracked tool handles, loose connections, and damaged tines or blade). If a rake or shovel fails your inspection, remove it from use • Select the correct shovel or rake for your job. A square-bladed shovel is used for lifting and moving loose material. A round-bladed shovel is used for digging . Level-headed rakes are used for grading and smoothing surfaces. • It is a good safety practice to loosen your muscles by stretching and performing light exercise before using a shovel or rake. Likewise, it is a good safety practice to also stretch your muscles when done raking or shoveling. • Pace yourself as you rake or shovel. Take frequent breaks and consume adequate water. • Use a rake or shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength. Do not use a rake or shovel that is too long or heavy for you. A shovel should have a length that is approximately the same as from the ground to between your elbow and chest height. • Remember to use the appropriate PPE for the task. • Before shoveling, inspect the area for obstructions such as cables and pipes. • When shoveling, stand upright and bend your knees so your legs carry most of the load. Push the shovel blade into the soil or material to obtain a shovel load. Keep your arms and elbows close to your body when handling a shovel load. • Lift the shovel load by straightening your legs. Never twist your trunk when raking or moving a shovel load. Always turn your feet and body in the direction where you wish to pile soil or spread or drop the shovel load. • Never overextend your arms or shoulders to load a shovel. When digging, use the ball of your foot to push the shovel blade into the ground. • Never lay a rake down with the teeth pointing up – the teeth should always be pointing down When raking or shoveling for long periods, vary your arm and leg positions and movements. Other Considerations • Regular Breaks • Drink enough water • Clearance from other people • Correct Method used • Inspect the work area. Cables/Underground Utilities. Mandatory PPE Other PPE that might be required…depending on the task environment.
  8. 8. Hand Saw • Before you use a hand saw, inspect it thoroughly for any signs of damage. If the handle is loose, or the blade is bent or broken, or if there are missing blade teeth, you must not use the hand saw. Also ensure that no one else uses the tool by marking it as unsafe. • When you use a hand saw, there is always a risk of splinters flying. Sometimes the object being sawed may rebound and hit the person operating the hand saw. To protect your face and eyes, you must always wear the appropriate PPE for the task. • Use a Tool of the Right Size. Hand saws are available in different sizes and capacities. Before you start using the hand saw, you must properly assess the task in question. Avoid using hand saws that are too big or too small for the project. • Check Material for Knots or Nails. Knots, metal pieces, nails and screws in the material may damage the blade. It can also cause buckling of the hand saw, which can lead to injury. Avoid such situations by properly inspecting the material beforehand. • Never Test Sharpness with Hands. You must never test the sharpness of a hand saw with your hand or any other part of your body. Doing so may result in cuts and injury. • Start Slowly. To prevent buckling and rebound of the hand saw, you must always start off slowly. Use long, even strokes to start cutting the material. • Ensure that the Material is Kept Firmly in Place. To avoid serious injury, it is crucial to hold the stock firmly in place. Use a vise or a clamp for this purpose if the object is really heavy or large. You can use your free hand to hold smaller objects, provided you wear thick gloves to protect your hand from the motion of the hand saw. You can also ask an accomplice to hold objects in place. • Keep the Hand Saw Clean. For the tool to operate properly, you must keep it clean at all times. Also inspect it for damage and have it repaired or replaced, as required. • You must store your hand saw in a safe, enclosed place. Mandatory PPE Other PPE that might be required…depending on the task environment. Other Considerations • Line of fire – Focus on where you place your hands. • Eyes on the job!!
  9. 9. Pliers • Inspect your tool before use. Never use pliers that are broken, chipped, corroded, cracked, or have worn jaws or a loose pivot. Assure cutting edges of pliers are sharp and jaw teeth are clean and unworn. Remove damaged pliers from use. • Only use pliers for the uses or tasks that they are intended. Do not use pliers for tasks that require the use of a hammer or a wrench. Never use pliers to remove (turn) nuts or bolts. • When using side-cutting pliers, always make cuts at right angles. Do not rock side-cutting pliers from side to side or bend wire back and forth against cutting edges. • Never use pliers on live electric circuits. • Do not use pliers to push items away from you. If the pliers slip, you may jam your hand or fingers against a stationary object. Always use pliers to pull items toward you. • Avoid exposing pliers to high temperatures. It could cause pliers to lose their hardening or tempering and fail unexpectedly. • Do not use extensions on plier handles to increase the leverage force. Find and use a larger size pair of pliers in order to increase the leverage force. • When cutting hardened wire, use side-cutting pliers that are specifically manufactured to make hardened wire cuts. • Be aware that cushion grips on pliers are not designed to protect against electrical currents. • Remember to use the correct PPE for the task at hand. Mandatory PPE Remember!! • Never use pliers on live electrical circuits. • Don’t tighten bolts/nuts with pliers. • Never use pliers as hammers.
  10. 10. Screwdrivers • Always inspect your tools before use. It is time to discard the tool when the handle of a screwdriver becomes worn or breaks, if the tip is damaged or if the shaft is bent. • Wear the appropriate PPE for the task at hand. • Screwdrivers should only be used for their intended purpose—driving or removing screws. Screwdrivers should never be used for prying, punching, chiseling, scoring or scraping. • While both slotted and cross-slotted screwdrivers will fit many fastener sizes, it is best to use screwdrivers of the proper sizes that fit snugly into the slot or recessed portion of the fastener head. • Plastic handles should be made of fire and heat resistant materials. If properly designed, they give excellent grip. Rubber or vinyl is often used as a non-slip or insulating cover on plastic handles. • Typical screwdriver handles will not insulate the user from electric current. • Always keep the screwdriver shank in line with the screw shank. This will avoid damaging the screw slot and pushing the screw out of line. • Never use pliers for added turning leverage on the shank of a screwdriver. • Screwdriver slippage can cause injury. Never hold the piece you’re working on in your hand while driving or loosening screws or bolts. Place it on a work surface and use a vice or a clamp to hold the material, whenever possible. • Never carry a screwdriver in your pocket. The tip of the screwdriver is so sharp and hard that it could cause injury. Mandatory PPE Remember!! • Screwdrivers are not chisels. • Never strike a screwdriver with a hammer or any other object. • Never work with screwdrivers on live electrical systems. The plastic handle is no guarantee.
  11. 11. Clamps • Always inspect your tools before use. Ensure that the swivel at the end of the screw turns freely before using. Dispose of clamps with bent frames; replace bent spindles. • Wear the appropriate PPE for the task at hand. • Select the proper clamp style and size by matching the work-holding requirements of the job with the following clamp features: strength and weight (e.g., consider rail size and nominal clamping pressure) opening (length of reach) throat depth (depth of reach) ease of adjustment, clamping surfaces (material used and size) • Ensure that the pressure plate and anvil parts of the clamp are in full contact with the work piece before tightening. • Keep all moving parts of clamps lightly oiled and keep tools clean to prevent slippage. Also make sure there is no dirt or oil on any part that will come in to contact with the work. • Do not use wrenches, pipes, hammers, or pliers to tighten clamps. Use wrenches only on clamps especially designed for wrenches. • Do not hoist or pull with C-clamps. Use special lifting clamps. Mandatory PPE Remember!! • Correct Size clamp for the job. • Tighten securely to avoid slippage. • Never use a clamp to lift or hoist other material.
  12. 12. Wrenches • Prior to use, inspect a wrench, making sure it is not damaged or defected in any way. Never use worn, cracked or tweaked wrenches. Replace them immediately to avoid injury.. • Wear the appropriate PPE for the task at hand. • Never attempt to straighten a bent wrench. Doing so will only further weaken it. • Use a wrench that pulls in a straight and clean manner. • Always use the proper size of wrench for the job. • Never substitute slip-point pliers for a wrench. • Never use a hammer with a wrench unless the wrench was specifically designed for such a purpose. Mandatory PPE Remember!! • Correct Size wrench for the job. • Never hit with a hammer unless it is designed to do so. Wrenches are the ever indispensable tool for workers who take it as their serious business to create, install, repair or maintain different tools or materials. But even this seemingly harmless tool can cause hand and finger (knuckle) injuries
  13. 13. Hydraulic Crimping Tool • Inspect before use. Do not use if parts are missing or damaged. • Wear the appropriate PPE for the task at hand. • Keep hands and fingers away from the Crimping Dies when using this tool as it creates enormous amounts of crimping force. • Do not use extension for added leverage on the Fixed Handle of this tool. • NEVER attempt to crimp wires that are plugged into an outlet and are electrically charged. • Keep work area clean and well lit. • Do not overreach. Keep proper footing and balance at all times. This enables better control of the product in unexpected situations • Keep bystanders out of the area during product assembly and use. • Maintain product labels and nameplates. These carry important safety information. Mandatory PPE Remember!! • Some of these tools can exert up to 8 tons of force. • Beware of pinch points!