Hand and Power Tool Safety Checklists
Real-time access to hand and power tool inspection reports that help proactively mitigate damage risks
What are Hand and Power Tools?
Hand and power tools make work easier and more efficient. However, there are a number of hazards involved in using these tools that can cause significant injuries. A few include amputations, lacerations, puncture wounds, eye injuries, electrocutions, and many other physical impairments. In the US, nail guns alone account for an estimated 25,000 emergency room injuries among workers.
This article features the following:
- 5 basic rules of hand and power tool safety;
- 13 safety precautions you can follow when using hand and power tools;
- effective hand and power checklist tool you can use to efficiently perform inspections; and
- free, ready-to-use templates you can customize and use.
5 Basic Rules of Hand and Power Tool Safety
Hand and power tool usage is inevitable in a handful of industries, including construction, manufacturing, industrial, and more. It is used to simplify work and improve the efficiency of the workers. Here are the five basic safety rules to prevent hazards associated with the use of hand and power tools according to OSHA:
- Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance
Regular maintenance is important to keep the equipment reliable and safe to use. Inspection of tools should be done regularly to lower the risk of injuries due to malfunctioning equipment and to prevent unexpected downtimes which negatively impact operational efficiency.
- Use the right tool for the job
Hand and power tools are made differently depending on its 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 hit an employee and cause minor injury or even blindness.
- Examine each tool for damage before use and do not use damaged tools
Checking and inspecting of hand and power tools before commencing work is crucial to determine defective or damaged equipment. Failing to check for damages can be onerous for both the business and its employees. Damaged equipment can also cause severe injuries such as cuts, punctures, blindness, electrical shock, or skin infection due to scrapes and abrasions.
One of the employers’ responsibilities is to communicate and train employees to not use damaged tools. Equipment should help employees easily perform their tasks and not put them in danger. Damaged tools can be hazardous and have the potential to put your business at risk.
- Operate tools according to the manufacturers’ instructions
Equipment manuals help guide employees on how to handle and operate tools as intended. Employees should read and comply with manufacturers’ guides to avoid mishandling of tools that lead to otherwise avoidable accidents.
- Provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
PPE helps in ensuring employee safety by reducing the overall physical hazards caused by power tools. All employees are expected to wear appropriate PPE when working around flammable gases, volatile liquids, or other explosive materials to avoid physical contact with combustible materials which can cause burns, blindness, or respiratory and skin diseases.
13 Safety Precautions to Follow When Using Hand and Power Tools
A regular inspection ensures that all tools and equipment are in good working condition. Employees must undergo training to gain adequate knowledge on handling these tools so they are used solely for their specific function. Protective equipment can also serve as additional defense against tool hazards. Below are safety precautions to follow when using hand and power tools:
- Do not operate power tools unless you have proper training.
- Work in a spacious area and be aware of the people around you.
- When working at heights, use a bucket or bag to hoist tools from the ground.
- Use a toolbox when carrying pointed tools. Do not put them in your pocket.
- Report damaged tools immediately.
- Carry power tools carefully and not by their cables.
- Check weather conditions when working with electric tools outside.
- Do not play with hand and power tools.
- Compressed air guns should not be pointed at yourself or another person.
- Clean your working area and tools before leaving the workplace.
- When using a power tool, do not leave it unattended.
- Electric power tools must be double-insulated or properly grounded.
- Electric tools or equipment should be repaired only by qualified persons.
Effective Hand and Power Checklist Tool
- Capture defects of hand and power tools on your mobile devices
- Spot and track red flags and assign appropriate corrective measures
- Share your audits to your managers or safety officials in real-time
- Sign off with digital signatures to validate inspection reports
We have a collection of hand tools checklist sample templates that can be customized to suit your workplace needs. Get started by downloading them for free.
Featured Hand and Power Tool Maintenance Checklists
Hand and Power Tools Pre-use Inspection Checklist
Tools and equipment must undergo thorough inspection to minimize or eliminate potential hazards. It is recommended that this audit is conducted daily or monthly but more often for tools that are heavily used. Start by providing a description of work and list down the tools for the operation. Do a site walkthrough to check if area is safe and free from hazards. Evaluate if the workers are competent, wearing appropriate PPE and are not under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Inspect if the hand and power tools pass quality standards and are free from damage like cracked blades, fraying cords, worn out handles and loose parts. Complete the audit by taking photos of tools that need repair or replacement and include other recommendations and reminders.
OSHA Hand and Power Tools Inspection
This hand and tool inspection checklist conforms with OSHA standards on tool safety. The objective is to evaluate if hand and power tools meet safety requirements before use. It also checks if workers have sufficient protection and if the area is secured. Use iAuditor to capture tool defects, generate real time reports on-site and notify your supervisors before problems occur.
Accident Injury Checklist
Accidents indicate that there are uncontrolled hazards in the workplace. Reporting and documenting these incidents help modify the existing safety regulations. Use this template to collect information on the injured person, the injury details and the root cause of the accident. Emergency services and witness statements are also recorded for more detailed reporting.
“Tinnitus” or the constant ringing of the ears and “Vibration White Hand Disease” are two of the most common health problems experienced by workers. These can be attributed to not wearing ear muffs and safety gloves when using tools which produce excessive noise and vibration. Use this template to evaluate if required protective gears pass quality standards.