Hand Tool Safety for Construction Sites

Construction Site

The proper knowledge on safe use can save construction workers time, increase efficiency, and prevent injuries to themselves and other workers on the job site. The following tips are recommended safety procedures for use and care of hand tools on construction sites:

  • Never misuse the tools you work with. Use the correct tool for the task at hand.
  • Inspect each and every tool prior to each use. If you find an unsafe condition or if the tool is defective, replace the defective tool and report it to the job site superintendent.
  • Never attempt to operate a tool that you are unfamiliar with or are not authorized to use. When in doubt, ask for instructions from the construction safety coordinator.
  • Always use the tool in the prescribed safe method. There are safe and unsafe ways to use all tools. Learn the difference.
  • Maintain all tools in a safe, top notch working condition. Keep tools and accessories clean, sharp, and correctly oiled.
  • Do not use tools with cracked, broken, loose, or missing handles.
  • Never use a screwdriver as a pry bar or a chisel. Select the correct size and style of screwdriver for the job.
  • You should never substitute pliers in place of a wrench. The jaws of a set of pliers can damage the head of the bolt and create an unsafe situation. The pliers may slip off of the bolt, and the operator may slip and fall.
  • If you must use a knife, always cut away from your body. Never point the blade directly at yourself or others in the area.
  • Safety guards must never be removed from small power tools. If the power cord is frayed or cut or if the plug is damaged, take the cord out of service immediately.
  • Take care in selecting the proper hammer for the task at hand. Always wear protective safety glasses when using a hammer, in particular when striking hard objects like a chisel or nails. Carefully inspect the handle of your hammer prior to each use. Handles can become cracked overtime or dislodged from the hammer head.
  • If you must use a crowbar, make sure it is the correct size for the project. Do not use cheater bars such as a length of pipe as an extension for leverage. To prevent the crowbar from slipping as you pry, place a block of wood under the bar for stability.
  • If a chisel becomes mushroomed, dress the end to prevent particles from chipping off upon impact.
  • Following these safety procedures can mean fewer accidents at construction sites, as well as a more productive working situation.