Safety Precautions for Using Hand Tools

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Hand tools should be used with caution to prevent accidents.
Hand tools should be used with caution to prevent accidents. (Image: screwdriver image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com)

Hand tools are used in construction, home workshops and other locations everyday. Many people overlook simple steps that can help to prevent accidents that can cause injury. By following basic safety precautions, the individual can complete a project without an accident occurring. Knowing how to properly use and care for hand tools are the first steps to keeping safe.

Using the Right Tool

Using the wrong tool for the job can create a dangerous situation. One example of this is utilizing a flat headed screwdriver for a chisel. Its end may come apart and become airborne, possibly injuring someone. The user needs to have adequate knowledge of how and for which jobs tools should be used.

Tool handles should not be loose or cracked.
Tool handles should not be loose or cracked. (Image: the hammer image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)

Hand Tool Handles

Tools such as hammers and axes have handles that need to be examined before use. If the handle has cracks or is loose, it should not be used. A tool with a loose handle can separate from the top end, which can become airborne and hit someone.

Wearing Eye Protection

When hammering, chiseling or doing similar work, debris flies through the air and can come into contact with the eyes. Protective glasses, goggles and/or a face shield can protect you from injury.

When using a chisel, flying debris can cause injury to your eyes.
When using a chisel, flying debris can cause injury to your eyes. (Image: cold chisel image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

Tool Condition

Proper maintenance of hand tools helps to keep them in top working condition. Knives that are kept sharp are less likely to catch during use and cut the individual. Tools that take hard use and are not maintained are more likely to break during work. This can lead to a serious injury.

Using a Vice

Keeping work in a vice makes it secure and unlikely to slip. It is dangerous to hold an object you are using a hand tool on in your hand. If the tool moves suddenly, it can cut or injure you.

Wrenches and Pliers

The gripping edge on a pair of pliers or a wrench should be in good working condition. If the gripping is worn down, the tool can slip while it is being used. Before you begin work, check its ability to be adjusted.

Storage

When tools are not in use, they should be stored in a toolbox or other storage space. Keeping them organized and clean makes them easier to find. It also prevents unnecessary wear and damage that can cause injury during later use.

A toolbox is useful for keeping hand tools organized.
A toolbox is useful for keeping hand tools organized. (Image: Toolbox image by morchella from Fotolia.com)

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