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Use of tools on construction sites is a necessity to get work done efficiently and accurately. But while they are quite beneficial, they can be very dangerous when not used correctly. Serious accidents can, and do happen, due to lack of proper instruction, incorrect usage and rushing while using them.
All Habitat management personnel should be trained on the proper use of all tools. Volunteers should never be allowed to use power tools, unless they have proven abilities in doing so. And likewise, every worker should be able to recognize some of the hazards associated with the different types of tools. It’s important that procedures be established for how a potentially dangerous situation involving use of a power tool should be alerted to the on-site safety manager.
As published by OSHA, there are five basic safety rules that should be adhered to with use of hand and power tools:
- Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance
- Use the right tool for the job
- Examine each tool for damage before use and do not use damaged tools
- Operate tools according to the manufacturers’ instructions
- Provide and use properly the right personal protective equipment (ie googles, gloves, etc)
Over the next several months we’ll be publishing informatoin about the safety precautions of various types of tools. We’ve started with safety precautions to follow when using power tools.
12 ways to avert the dangers of using power tools:
- Never carry a tool by the cord or hose.
- Never yank the cord or the hose to disconnect it from the receptacle.
- Keep cords and hoses away from heat, oil, and sharp edges.
- Disconnect tools when not using them, before servicing and cleaning them, and when changing accessories such as blades, bits, and cutters.
- Keep all people not involved with the work at a safe distance from the work area.
- Secure work with clamps or a vise, freeing both hands to operate the tool.
- Avoid accidental starting. Do not hold fingers on the switch button while carrying a plugged-in tool.
- Maintain tools with care; keep them sharp and clean for best performance.
- Follow instructions in the user’s manual for lubricating and changing accessories.
- Be sure to keep good footing and maintain good balance when operating power tools.
- Wear proper apparel for the task. Loose clothing, ties, or jewelry can become caught in moving parts.
- Remove all damaged portable electric tools from use and tag them: “Do Not Use.”
The information we will present on the use of tools is derived from OSHA’s Hand and Power Tools publication, which is offered in the public domain and used with permission.