What Are the Hazards of Hand Tools?
Hand tools are tools that are powered manually. Hand tools includes the following: Screwdrivers, pliers, pincers, spanners, hammers, chisels, cold chisels, files, awls, centre punches, wire strippers, cable strippers, crimpers, ratchet hand wrenches, scissors, axes etc.
The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance. Some examples include the following:
• If a chisel is used as a screwdriver, the tip of the chisel may break and fly off, hitting the user or other employees.
• If a wooden handle on a tool, such as a hammer or an axe, is loose, splintered, or cracked, the head of the tool may fly off
and strike the user or other employees.
• If the jaws of a wrench are sprung, the wrench might slip.
• If impact tools such as chisels, wedges, or drift pins have mushroomed heads, the heads might shatter on impact, sending sharp fragments flying toward the user or other employees.
The employer is responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees. Employers shall not issue or permit the use of unsafe hand tools. Employees should be trained in the proper use and handling of tools and equipment.
Employees, when using saw blades, knives, or other tools, should direct the tools away from aisle areas and away from other employees working in close proximity. Knives and scissors must be sharp; dull tools can cause more hazards than sharp ones. Cracked saw blades must be removed from service.
Wrenches must not be used when jaws are sprung to the point that slippage occurs. Impact tools such as drift pins, wedges, and chisels must be kept free of mushroomed heads. The wooden handles of tools must not be splintered.
Iron or steel hand tools may produce sparks that can be an ignition source around flammable substances. Where this hazard exists, spark-resistant tools made of non-ferrous materials should be used where flammable gases, highly volatile liquids, and other explosive substances are stored or used.
Control Measures Using Hand tools
- Use quality tools in accordance with the type of work to carry out.
- Properly instruct personnel in the use of each type of tool.
- Use tools with an insulating covering in work in the vicinity of live parts.
- Use protective goggles in all cases and above all when there is a risk of projected particles.
- Use gloves to handle sharp tools.
- Periodically check tools (repair, sharpening, cleaning, etc.).
- Periodically check the state of handles, insulating coverings, etc.
- Store and/or transport tools in boxes, tool bags or on suitable panels, where each tool has its place
- BE AWARE THAT WELL ORDERED TOOLS: Are found quicker! Are safer!! Last longer!!!
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National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) is Nigeria’s first and oldest safety organization. It is a tripartite consultative Occupational Safety and Health Council which was established May 26th 1964 by a Federal Government cabinet decision under the sponsorship of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment in line with ILO Convention 187 (Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention.