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Prevent Accidents With a Power Tool Safety Inspection Checklist

A power tool safety inspection checklist is a template that guides workers and site supervisors when checking hand power tools before use. It helps identify damages and defects on tools and the steps they need to take to lessen the risks.

What Is a Power Tool Safety Inspection Checklist?

A power tool safety inspection checklist is used to thoroughly inspect tools and equipment to mitigate and eliminate potential hazards. The OSHA hand tool safety standard recommends that power tools be checked daily or monthly basis. However, if a tool is often used, it should undergo checkups more often.

When creating a checklist, don’t forget to create a description of work and a list of tools to accomplish the job. Also, check if the workers who will use the equipment are trained and competent, wearing the appropriate protective equipment, and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Inspect if the work area is free and safe from existing and potential hazards.

You can also download our digital hand and power tools safety checklist and add more items to it. By thoroughly inspecting and maintaining your tools regularly, you lessen the risks that might cause injuries and accidents in the workplace.

In this article, the following points are explained:

1. Top causes of power tool accidents

2. 5 essential safety rules

3. The advantages of digital checklists

Man working with drill

Top Causes of Power Tool Accidents

Many potential risks exist around power tools. You have a piece of equipment with either a sharp blade or high RPM. If you are not careful, a number of injuries and work accidents can happen. A lot of accidents in the workplace are not necessary and can be avoided if you have a hand power tools safety checklist. Here’s some of them:

1. Trips and Falls from Messy Cords

Cords left lying all over the place is a potential trip hazard. You can prevent trips and falls in your workplace by keeping everything organized. Yes, it is a workplace, but that doesn’t mean it has to be disorganized. Take a few minutes to sweep up and move the cords aside. Also, check for loose and protruding lines that might cause someone to stumble.

2. Removing the Blade Guard

When using the table saw, don’t forget two things — keep your hands as far as possible from the blade and never remove the blade guard. If you need to remove the blade guard because of clearances, always use a feather board or push stick.

3. Not Wearing Any Protection

When working with blades or sharp tools, always wear the appropriate PPE. For example, wear cut-protection gloves when using utility knives, sheet metal, or puncture-resistant boots when doing heavy-duty work or working around sharp objects.

4. Shocks and Arcs

Although most injuries usually involve electric shocks from high-voltage arcs, smaller voltage arcs are no less dangerous. An electrician working on a ladder can get outbalanced and fall even when encountering a small voltage shock.

Another cause comes from working close to explosive gases while using any power tools. Ignition of these gases can cause severe burns and death. So always be aware of your surroundings and report any materials that you deem hazardous.

5. Lack of Eye and Face Protection

Never forget to wear protective equipment for your eyes and face when working with abrasive cutting blades. These tools operate on high RPM, so there’s a possibility that they might come apart. Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying objects.

6. Not Paying Attention

Getting distracted or not paying attention has a high price, especially when working with high-power tools. When you become too familiar with the tools you use, you tend to do everything automatically, losing focus. You forget that you’re holding a tool in one hand while suspended 20 feet up in the air. Or you might think someone has already switched off the breaker, so you did not double-check it. These are simple things that can cost you your life if you fail to pay attention.

5 Essential Safety Rules When Using Power Tools

The Standard 1926.03 comprises the OSHA hand tools safety guidelines. It talks about the proper handling of pneumatic and electric power-operated tools, including the safe limit of compressed air. According to 1926.302(b)(4), never use compressed air for cleaning purposes unless necessary. In case it happens, it reduces the pressure lower than 30 p.s.i. Also, use effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment. Otherwise, it must never be used for that purpose.

Aside from this, here are the five most essential safety rules to remember when using power tools:

1. Ensure That All Tools Are Properly Maintained

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping the equipment reliable and safe to use. Tools should also be inspected regularly to lessen the risk of injuries because of equipment malfunction. Accidents and injuries often result in downtime, harming work efficiency.

2. Use the Appropriate Tool for the Task

Each tool is designed for a specific task. For example, using a hammer and nail instead of a power drill to bore a hole on a cement wall could injure you. So make sure to use the right tools for the task.

3. Inspect Each Tool Prior to Each Use

Inspecting the tools for defects and damages prior to each use is crucial in preventing accidents and injuries. Some of the things to look for are:

  • Cracks and damages to the handle and body casing
  • Defects in cords. Also, check if the power cord is fraying, cracking, and any signs of faults and wear in the cord insulation.
  • Damaged switches and faulty trigger locks
  • Auxiliary or double handles are installed securely
  • Cracks, missing or loose prongs in the plugs

If you find a defective tool, make sure to tick it on your power tool safety inspection checklist and tag it as “out of service” or “for repair.” make sure that only a qualified person will repair the faulty tools.

4. Follow Manufacturer’s Instruction

User manuals guide workers to operate the tools properly. Take time to read and follow the recommended use of the manual to avoid mishandling. Neglecting them can cause injuries and accidents.

5. Use Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment adds an extra layer of protection to workers. Wear the appropriate PPE when working around hazardous materials like volatile liquids and flammable gases.

Craftsman with sawing machine at work

A Digital Hand and Power Tool Checklist App

Paper-based checklists are inconvenient for data entry. Paper documents can easily get lost in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day operations, leading to unresolved cases. In addition, there is no easy way for an inspector to attach photographic evidence. In contrast, a digital tool would allow them to take photos and instantly upload them to the cloud.

Lumiform is a powerful inspection application that replaces all paper-based power tool safety inspection checklists with digital lists. Because the checklists can be instantly annotated with photos and notes to highlight key findings, the final digital reports are more detailed and data-driven.

  • Capture photos of identified defects and issues during the inspection with your mobile device to make your report more descriptive.
  • Assign corrective actions to the right personnel already from the app and track their completion via the dashboard.
  • Share your inspection results in real time with your managers or safety officers through automatic report sharing.
  • Save time by more easily evaluating all data and more quickly identifying where action is needed.
  • Sign with digital signatures to validate inspection reports and manage accountability across your organization.

Try Lumiform for free

Craftsman doing woodwork with power tool
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