Hand and Power Tool Safety: Information and Advice
We understand that some customers will come to us without previous experience of operating hand tools and power tools. These clients may have concerns about how, when and where to use certain pieces of equipment, which could lead to accidents if it becomes apparent that the equipment is not right for the job being carried out. This could be because it is the wrong tool for the job, but it could also be because the user is not sure of how to use the item safely.
Keeping yourself and your team members safe on a build must be your top priority. This is why we are here to help and provide advice for all of our customers who are using our hired hand powered drilling tools and machines for the first time.
At M. Teevan Hire, we are experts in hiring out tools and equipment for building projects, so we know what it takes to keep workers safe on a construction site. If you are new to using hand and power tools, we can provide you with some advice that will be vital when you start your work project.
Hand and Power Tool Hazards
When beginning any work, it is important that you first identify any potential hazards that may cause accidents when you use the tools. Carrying out a hand and power tools risk assessment will keep you aware of problems which may occur, therefore reducing the chances of something happening.
Top Tips for Reducing Accidents
As we have worked for many years in this industry, we have compiled a list of top tips for what you can do to keep yourself and your team members safe, when power tools are used on your site.
Before using your tools, you should:
- Set up a risk assessment and hazard checklist for each tool
- Clean and maintain your tools thoroughly
- Have dressed appropriately in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Ensure that team members intending to use the tools are qualified.
When using the tools, you should:
- Use the equipment exactly as it is supposed to be used
- Carry all equipment appropriately around the site
- Set up safe zones and barriers around where you are working.
When storing tools and equipment, you should:
- Turn off and unplug the tools beforehand
- Ensure that all moving parts of the tools have stopped
- Ensure that any pressure buildup in the tools is released.
Hazards from Objects
Workers using hand and power tools have the potential to be exposed to objects that may:
- Fly out
Some of these objects may also:
- Be abrasive
- Produce harmful dusts, fumes, gases, mists or vapours.
When carrying out work using power tools, there is also the potential to be exposed to damaged electrical cords, hazardous connections or improper grounding.
When Using Hand and Power Tools
Different types of hand and power tools will come with different potential hazards to bear in mind. Hazards with hand tools, for instance, are most commonly caused through misuse and improper maintenance. It is crucial that, in order to maintain good standards of health and safety, any hand tools you use are:
- Used exactly as they should be. To give an example, torque wrenches should not be used as hammers.
- Not used if they are showing obvious signs of wear or breaking, such as loose or cracked handles.
The most common cause of accidents with power tools is misuse, and they can be extremely dangerous when not used correctly. They must be:
- Fitted with switches and safety guards that must not be removed or tampered with when the tool is in use
- Only used to carry out the tasks they have been designed for
- Kept sharp and clean.
Inspection and Maintenance
It is important that all equipment is regularly:
Doing these will not only help to keep your tool in the best working order for your work projects, but it will also help to minimise the risk of accidents. Setting a hand and power tool inspection checklist for your equipment, and completing this checklist every day, can help you to avoid using potentially hazardous tools.
All maintenance should be scheduled and carried out by a qualified electrician, or equally trained member of the team. If there is a tool which does not work, it should be removed, clearly labelled as faulty and your supervisor should be informed.
However, if you choose to hire your tools from M. Teevan Hire instead, you will not have to worry about these steps. We always make sure that our tools are cleaned, maintained and repaired before they are sent out to any worksites, saving you time and money that may have ended up wasted on faulty tools and equipment.
Using the Tools
Equipment must only ever be used by workers who have had hand and power tool safety training. This also means that they should know exactly how to use the equipment, what the appropriate running speed should be and to keep people not involved in the work away from the work area.
The floor surface you use these tools on should be:
- Free of debris such as cables.
This will help to prevent you or your other team members from slipping or tripping over. When you are about to carry out the work, you should secure the object you are going to use the tool on with clamps or a vice, this will both to prevent it from moving and make sure that you are keeping both hands on the tool at all times. If you are working at height, you must also ensure that you do not leave your tools where they could potentially fall and create a hazard to other workers or members of the public.
When using electric tools, you should make sure that conditions are not damp or wet, in order to prevent conduction that could result in electrocution. They should also be plugged into a grounded receptacle, where possible.
When you are using a pneumatic tool, you should be sure that all parts have been secured and you have set up protective screens around your work area before you start to use it. You must never point a compressed air gun at yourself or another person, and to prevent misuse, you should also never leave the tool unattended.
When moving portable power tools across the site, you must always make sure they are carried correctly. For instance, you must never carry tools:
- That are still plugged in with your fingers on the switch
- By the cord if they have one attached.
Cords must also not be used to hoist or lower tools to different floors. Tools should always be put in a bag or bucket if you are planning on taking them to a different floor, not carried up a ladder by hand. You must also make sure that when you carry a pointed tool, you do not put it in your pocket to take it across a worksite.
When preparing to pack them up, cords and hoses must not be yanked out of their sockets to disconnect them. Generally, all cords and hoses must be kept away from:
- Sharp edges.
When working with these tools, loose clothing, hair and jewellery are all to be avoided, in case they become caught in the machinery. PPE should be worn at all times as well. These pieces of protective clothing include:
- Thick work gloves
- Hard hats
- Hard work boots.
If you are planning on storing the tools, you should be certain that:
- Everything is powered off
- Everything is unplugged with attached cables wrapped
- All moving parts have stopped before you pack them away
- Pressure in any of the tools, especially air guns, must be discharged in order to prevent an accident.
All tools must be stored in a safe place, in order to prevent thefts as well as accidents. At M. Teevan, we can assist with problems regarding secure storage by taking back rental tools once you have finished using them. This will save you space on your site, allowing it to be used for other items that will need longer term storage. If you are planning on renting the tools for some time, we can also help to increase the security on your site, by offering you temporary fence panels for hire.
We Have Tools for Hire
We pride ourselves on our expertise when it comes to hiring out tools for building projects. With years of experience behind us and countless satisfied customers, we know that we can provide you with exactly the right products you need to get your job done. When you choose our service, you will find a wide range of state-of-the-art tools and equipment at your disposal, all ready and waiting to help you move just that little bit closer to completing your work.
If you have any questions about tools and health and safety, our professional team members will be able to answer them. Get in touch with us and one of our staff members will be able to help you before you make any decisions about the tools you will hire for your site.
Contact Us Today
For a reliable, professional tool and plant hire service in London, look no further than M. Teevan Hire Ltd. Contact us today and we will be able to help you select your hired tools from our range. Alternatively, we can provide advice on hand and power tool procedures in terms of health and safety, before you choose.