Hand & Power Tools – Safety Talks

The use of common tools can become second nature as we use them each day. We tend to overlook the hazards that these tools present. It’s good to remind yourself of the potential hazards so you don’t become complacent.

Inspect tools before each use:

  • On power tools, check for damaged or cracked housing, power source or accessories.
  • On any tools that have a blade, make sure dull blades are sharpened. Dull blades are often more dangerous than sharp ones.
  • Ensure all safety guards and protective devices are properly installed. If you find any that are damaged or missing, refrain from using the tool until they are replaced or repaired.
  • Check for leaking gasoline, oil or other fluids.
  • Inspect the overall condition of the tool. If it is damaged, replace it and properly dispose of the damaged tool.
  • Ensure your work area is clean and free of any potential trip hazards.

Proper use of tools:

  • Ensure you’re wearing the proper PPE.
  • Use the proper tool for the job.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and care of the tools.
  • Ask a coworker or supervisor for clarification if you’re unsure about the tool’s use.
  • Use spark resistant tools when working near a fuel source.
  • Do not use excessive force to cut/drill through hard materials.
  • Gasoline/Mixed Fuel Powered Tools must be off and cool when refueled, use only in well ventilated areas.

Store your tools properly:

  • Drain fluids, like gasoline, from power tools that will be stored for extended periods of time.
  • De-energize tool prior to storage. This includes releasing air pressure, hydraulic pressure and removing loads.
  • Store electric tools in dry areas.
  • Store flammables in accordance with applicable regulations.

Discuss as a group:

  • Has anyone in your team been injured by a power tool or had a close call? How could this injury have been prevented?
  • What tools present the greatest hazard in your work environment? How can you minimize the risks?
  • Are there any tools that need to be repaired or discarded? If so, take time to do this directly after your safety talk.