Common hand tools, which many people take for granted, frequently are the most abused. Misuse of hand tools can become a habit that will cause accidents.
Some of the basic rules governing the use of hand tools are as follows:
- Use the right tool for a job. Never use a makeshift or improper fitting tool. Refuse to use tools that aren't in first class condition and report those that give you problems to your supervisor.
- Use wrenches of the right size for the job. Face the jaws of an adjustable wrench in the direction of the pull.
- Make certain that pipe wrench jaws are sharp and chains in good condition so they will not slip.
- Use only tools in good condition. Clean all grease and dirt. Do not use tools with improper handles, including those that are cracked, broken or loose. Hammers or chisels with mushroomed or broken heads should not be used.
- Keep keen-edged blades sharp; store them safely when not in use. Store them with the sharp edge protected. This will help avoid cuts, as well as protect the sharp edge.
- Do not use a hammer with a hardened face on highly tempered tools such as a drill, file, die or jig. Chips may fly.
- Never apply a wrench to moving machinery; stop the machine, then remove all tools before starting it again.
- Never handle any tool in such a manner that you can be injured if it slips. Think about your movements and position your body accordingly.
- Always wear safety goggles when working with hand tools. You only get one pair of eyes.
- Don't carry hand tools in a way that will interfere with using both hands when climbing a ladder.
- Tools should not be put down on scaffolding, overhead piping, on top of step ladders, or other locations from which they could fall on persons below or into equipment.
- Workers carrying tools on their shoulders should pay close attention to clearances when turning so that they will not strike nearby fellow workers.