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Ensure Good Conditions With a Tools Checklist

Mitigate risks by spotting defective tools and improper practices with the help of a digital tools checklist that lets you conduct safety inspections effectively.

What Is a Tools Checklist?

In any project or production, tools are instrumental to getting things done. They are meant to not only make the job easier but essentially get it done the best way possible. However, when tools are mishandled or not in their best condition, they can expose workers to hazards and even cause serious damage to their health.

That’s why a tools checklist is essential to ensure that tools are in good condition and appropriate safety measures are taken by workers. All it takes is one loose part or lack of inappropriate protective gear for accidents to happen from flying or falling objects, and harmful dust or fumes from the use of hand and power tools. On top of this, electrical connections should be checked to ensure that they are suitable for the tools being used and that the working conditions are not exposing workers to fire hazards.

Most importantly, every tool and equipment should be inspected to protect workers from potential health and safety risks. One of the best practices to increase safety measures is conducting tools inspections daily or monthly for tools used regularly. This will ensure that hand and power tools are in optimal condition during use.

Using the tool inspection checklist during audits is the best way to guarantee that all necessary steps and findings are properly documented. During a site walkthrough, everything from assessing worker competencies to the appropriate use of proper protective equipment (PPE) should be included. Then, an inspection of individual tools (e.g. cracked blacked or loose parts) should be well-documented to keep a record of equipment condition at the time of the audit. This will serve as a helpful reference for future inspections and monitoring of corrective actions implemented.

This article covers the following topics:

1. The common hazards associated with tools

2. OSHA’s five basic safety rules

3. How to empower workers to take care of their tools

What Common Hazards Are Associated With Tools?

The use of hand and power tools should be supplemented by proper training and supervision to avoid any incidents. One of the best ways to do this is to go the extra mile and equip your workers with knowledge on the necessary safety practices they need to know when dealing with tools.

Here are some of the most common ones to get you started.

  1. Screwdrivers. Screws are an ever-present necessity in building a structure or equipment, so screwdrivers are a staple in any toolbox. These typically come in different sizes and tips and are used almost constantly. However, the sharp edge of this hand tool can easily pierce should it break and hit a worker. One slip can cause an accident, so it’s important that the tip is always kept clean and the grip is not slippery so slips can be avoided.
  2. Hammer. Another tool that can be found in professional and non-professional work is plenty of ways mishandling hammers can result in injury. For example, swinging the hammer back too far and potentially hitting the eyes or a loose handle can cause splinters to hit a fellow worker. That’s why these four practices should be observed when using hammers:
    • Use the right hammer size appropriate for the task
    • Ensure that grip is not slippery
    • Wear safety goggles
    • Check if the hammer head is secured tightly on the handle and there are no cracks or weak spots
  3. Chainsaw. A long mechanical set of sharp cutters should be handled properly. It would be best to watch out for common hazards like kickback, pushback, and pull-in. The risk of kickbacks is the most common cause of injuries and happens when the rotating chain suddenly stops while in contact with a solid area. This can throw the saw forcefully toward the operator. That’s why when using chainsaws, these practices should be included in your tools checklist to keep it in good shape:
    • Replace dull blades
    • Ensure that the chain has the right tension: not too loose or too tight
    • Never refuel the chainsaw when hot
    • Maintain it by using real bar or fresh motor oil
    • Wear the appropriate protective gear
  4. Power drill. Getting loose clothing caught in the bits, puncture wounds, and electrocution from drilling into live wiring are just some of the hazards associated with power drills.
  • Proper protective clothing should be worn and avoid loose clothing
  • Do not carry or hold a power tool by the cord or hose
  • Keep the cords and hoses far from heat, oil, or any sharp edges
  • Always disconnect it when not being used and when changing accessories
  • Ensure that observers are kept at a safe distance from the worksite
  • Do not put a finger on the start button to prevent accidental starting
  • Replace damaged tools immediately
Worker uses electric tool

What Are OSHA’s Five Fundamental Safety Rules in Handling Tools?

There’s no escaping the fact that industries need tools to get the job done. So, to guide employers on the proper safety measures, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released five basic safety rules in handling hand and power tools that should be included in a tool inspection checklist.

1. All Tools Should Be Kept in Good Condition and Regularly Maintained

To avoid the possibility of malfunction and downtimes, regular inspection and maintenance should be done. This not only keeps equipment safe to use but helps spot problems before they cause work accidents.

2. Always Use the Appropriate Tool for the Job

Hand and power tools are made to serve a specific purpose and function. It’s imperative that you use the right tool for the job to avoid accidents. One example is using a chisel in the place of a screwdriver can potentially cause the tip to break off and hit someone in the eye.

3. Make It a Point to Inspect Each Tool Before Use

Employers are responsible for making sure that employees never use tools that are compromised and damaged. These can lead to abrasions, punctures, and even blindness or death when overlooked. So, checking tools before using them to make sure that no defective equipment is used is critical to the safety of your people and the reputation of your business.

4. Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions When Operating Tools

Tools, especially power tools, always come with a guide on how to use them properly. Workers must be educated and made aware of the importance of adhering to these to avoid mishandling tools that can lead to preventable accidents.

5. Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Blindness, burns, and respiratory problems can be prevented with the right gear. So, employers must ensure that workers are provided the right PPE to reduce the hazards caused by using tools, especially when they are working around volatile liquids and flammable materials.

Empower Workers to Take Care of Their Tools

Improving workplace safety is a challenge, and failing to meet workplace safety standards can lead to work accidents and breakdowns that slow down the work process. With a digital inspection and corrective action solution that workers can learn in minutes, they can proactively ensure the overall safety of tools in any industrial environment.

Empower your workers to assess tool safety easily, immediately respond to safety issues or potential risks, and have confidence in their preventive measures from the start. With Lumiform’s tool inspection and training app, they can take advantage of the following when you sign up for free today:

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