How to safely use Hand and Power Tools.

Aug, 14, 2020, by Laura Taylor

What are Hand and Power Tools?
Hand and power tools make tasks much easier and more efficient. These types of tools include chainsaws, circular saws, jigsaws, drills, hammer drills, sanders, grinders just to name a few. However, there are a number of potential hazards that could happen when using these tools that can cause significant injuries.

iAuditor by SafetyCulture has put together a list of basic rules and safety precautions to follow when using hand and power tools. Check them out below!

5 Basic Rules of Hand and Power Tool Safety

Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance
Regular maintenance is important to keep hand and power tools reliable and safe to use. Inspection of tools should be done regularly to lower the risk of injuries due to malfunctioning equipment.

Use the right tool for the job
Hand and power tools are made differently depending on their function. Choosing the tool appropriate for the job is necessary to avoid incidents and injuries. For example, a chisel is made for carving or cutting materials such as wood, stone, or metal, and using it any other way is not efficient or ideal and can lead to injury. If you will use a chisel as a replacement screwdriver, the tip may break and fly off, which might cause minor injury or even blindness.

Examine each tool for damage before use and do not use damaged tools
Checking and inspecting hand and power tools to determine defective or damaged equipment before lending or renting them to other users is crucial. Damaged equipment can be very dangerous, therefore it is crucial that if you suspect that a piece of equipment is not in good working condition that you do not lend or rent it.

Operate tools according to the manufacturers’ instructions
Equipment manuals help guide you on how to handle and operate tools as intended. It is important that you read and comply with manufacturers’ guides to avoid mishandling of tools that lead to otherwise avoidable accidents.

Provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is anything used or worn by a person (including clothing) to minimise risks to the person’s health and safety. This may include hearing protection, eye protection, protective clothing, and safety harness systems. PPE helps in ensuring your safety by reducing the overall physical hazards caused by power tools. When using power tools make sure to wear appropriate PPE to minimise the risk of injury.

12 Safety Precautions to Follow When Using Hand and Power Tools
It is important that you have adequate knowledge of handling these tools so they are used solely for their specific function. Protective equipment can also serve as an additional defence against tool hazards. Below are safety precautions to follow when using hand and power tools:

  1. Do not operate power tools unless you have proper training.
  2. Work in a spacious area and be aware of the people around you.
  3. When working at heights, use a bucket or bag to hoist tools from the ground.
  4. Use a toolbox when carrying pointed tools. Do not put them in your pocket.
  5. Report damaged tools immediately.
  6. Carry power tools carefully and not by their cables.
  7. Check weather conditions when working with electric tools outside.
  8. Do not play with hand and power tools.
  9. When using a power tool, do not leave it unattended.
  10. Electric tools or equipment should only be used if tagged and tested.
  11. Electric power tools must be double-insulated or properly grounded.
  12. Electric tools or equipment should be repaired only by qualified persons.

Testing and tagging electrical appliances

Testing and tagging electrical appliances is one useful way to check electrical equipment is safe. However, it's not mandatory. What is legally required is that equipment is electrically safe and maintained in a safe condition. Testing and tagging doesn't guarantee future electrical safety, what it does is provide a snapshot of how safe the appliance is at the time of testing.

If you are thinking about regularly lending electrical appliances we suggest you hire a third-party like Jims Test & Tag or Metro Test to carry out the testing. Tag and testing will likely cost you between $3.00-$5.00 per item which is a small price to pay for the additional confidence that the gear you are lending is safe.

How often you test and tag depends on the nature and usage of the equipment. For example, electrical equipment used outside and in damp conditions would need more frequent testing than a computer in an office.

At Mutu, the safety of our users is a priority and we recommend only renting and lending items that have been tagged and tested. Whether you decide to test and tag or not, it's important to regularly look at cords, plugs and tools to see if they're damaged before using them.

Effective Hand and Power Checklist Tool
If you are someone who either owns and lends power tools or someone who is looking to rent power tools we strongly advise you to download iAuditors FREE checklist tool.

iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a world-class mobile checklist maker app that lets you conduct hand and power tool inspections efficiently and effectively. With iAuditor you can do the following:

  • Capture defects of hand and power tools on your mobile devices.
  • Spot and track red flags and assign appropriate corrective measures.
  • Create inspection checklist templates for yourself or others to comply with.
  • Share your inspections with qualified safety officials in real-time.

They also have a collection of hand and power tool checklist sample templates that can be customized to suit your needs.

Hand and power tools should help our users easily perform their tasks and not put them in danger. We have created this document to ensure both our users and their equipment remains safe while being shared via our platform.

Stay safe and happy sharing from the Mutu team!

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