Proper hand tool safety is vital for anyone that works with hand tools, including apprentices and experienced electricians. There are a huge number of things that can harm You when working with theses tools. You might think to Yourself, they are small tools, how much damage can they really do? They can even kill you, especially electrical power tools.
Accidents Do Happen
A hand saw or hammer may not create too much damage if the accident only involves You, but if that same hammer comes falling down on Your head from five stories up, it will most likely kill You. That is why You should at all times wear a hardhat whenever there is a chance of falling objects.
When working in in heights, it is advisable to keep Your work area clean and to keep Your equipment, including tools, in sight. You do not want to be the one dropping that hammer on a fellow workers head. The best safety practice is to always put Your tools back into the belt when not in use. It only takes a second, and it may very well save someones health or life.
Power tools are considered to be the most dangerous hand tools. When using extension cords, You can get Your feet tangled up or slip and fall. That is why cordless tools are better. If you do work with extension cords, always ensure they are properly secured. Tape the cords to the floor or onto the wall so that You and any other person would not get tangled or trip over them. For this action do not use nails or staples as they will likely damage the wires inside the cords presenting the risk of electrical shock, and, additionally, in case damage is too significant, You might need to purchase new ones. This means extra expense You really do not need!
Inspect your power tools before each use. Any signs of wear, frayed or exposed wire should be dealt with immediately. Do not use the tool as long as all imperfections are not eliminated. Do not put off fixing the cord until the job is done. Fix it right away. An exposed wire could lead to electrocution. Maintenance is part of hand tool safety. Never leave the power on. When You are finished with the tool, turn off the power before pulling the plug. The next time You go to use it You may forget that you left the switch in the on position. This can cause a very serious accident. Or, maybe someone else picks up the tool without realizing the switch is in the on position. You will be responsible for the injuries caused to that person.
Read Safety Guidelines
Tools come not only with manuals, but also hand tool safety guidelines. Ignoring these precautions can lead to serious accidents. The manufacturer does not write up these guidelines so You would have something to read just for fun. The guidelines and safe operating procedures are provided with tools to teach You how to use them properly and safely.
Some experienced workers feel that safety guards and shields installed on power tools slow them down. These foolish individuals remove the guards and shields so that the job will go faster. Never, never ever remove safety shields or guards. The shields are there for Your and other people around protection. Removing them puts You at a higher risk of injury.
As an electrician you are usually required to work as quickly as possible. But, no matter how fast You have to complete the job, You should never put Your health and safety after the job completion. You will not get the job done any faster if You have to be rushed off to the hospital half way through.
On The Job Training
When You are first starting out electrician training as an electrician apprentice, Your master electrician will tell all about hand tool safety. You will also learn about it in the classroom training portion of Your apprenticeship. Additionally, You will be most likely told to read all of the safety guidelines and procedures that come with the tool. On one hand, this may sound like an overdose of safety training, but it is not. There is nothing more important than workplace safety. Thousands of workers every year are hurt or killed on the job. Of course, once in a while You do have a freak accident, but in most cases, these injuries and deaths could have been avoided.
Majority of accidents occur when a laborer is not paying enough attention to the job at hand or handles his tools irresponsibly.
Right Tools For The Job
Using the right tool for the job at hand is the first step in hand tool safety. Tools are engineered to perform a specific task in a specific manner. This is the reasons why, for example, screwdrivers come in wide variety of lengths and with different tips and pliers with different head shapes. When you use a tool improperly, you facing potential trouble. You not only risk with damaging particular tool, but also place Your safety at risk. Breaking a high quality tool means extra expense, so why take the chance of ruining them?
Use Insulated Tools
Working with electricity includes the threat of electrical shock. That is why there are tools specially designed for electricians. These are insulated to reduce the impact electricity may have on ones body and health when accidentally hit a live circuit. An electrician should never work with on equipment until it is completely shut off. However, do not be complacent. You may come across a situation when You think the power is off, but there is actually a current still running through the machinery. This could be from a computer or a medical device hooked up to the circuit that can not be shut down completely. Insulated tools will provide more protection than regular tools.
Do not make electrician job more dangerous than it already is. Always remember to practice proper hand tool safety!