Safe handling of tools
Workers should be trained on safe procedures for working with tools. However, safe practices when carrying or storing those tools may not be thoroughly covered. Tools can pose a safety risk when they are misplaced or improperly handled by workers. The National Safety Council offers the following tips for safe handling of tools when they are not in use:
- Workers should never carry tools up or down a ladder in a way that inhibits grip. Ideally, tools should be hoisted up and down using a bucket or strong bag, rather than being carried by the worker.
- Tools should always be carefully handed from one employee to another – never tossed. Pointed tools should be passed either in their carrier or with the handles toward the receiver.
- Workers carrying large tools or equipment on their shoulders should pay close attention to clearances when turning and maneuvering around the workplace.
- Pointed tools such as chisels and screwdrivers should never be carried in a worker’s pocket. Acceptable ways to carry them include in a toolbox, pointed down in a tool belt or pocket tool pouch, or in the hand with the tip always held away from the body.
- Tools should always be put away when not in use. Leaving tools lying around on an elevated structure such as a scaffold poses a significant risk to workers below. This risk increases in areas with heavy vibration.
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