Jun 16


Working with Hand Tools Safely

Category: Toolbox Talks
There are multiple hazards in construction and it is up to all of us to identify these hazards and utilize safe work practices prior to work. Some hazards that occur when working with hand tools are falling tools from heights, cuts, punctures, damage to property, abrasions, etc.

Here are some Safe Work Practices to use:

  • Utilize the Take 2 Process & Safe Work Zone Techniques: All affected workers should walk the job prior to start of work to identify hazards not on or mitigated by your JSA/PTP.
  • Management of Change: When there is a major change to the work or a major hazard is identified without a control, STOP and ask these questions: Will the change create or expose people, process, or property to hazards?
  • Inspect all Tools before each use! Tag all defective tools and remove them from the work area immediately.
  • Use the proper tool for the job.
  • Alter swing radius when swinging hand tool to insure tool does not breach the roof edge.
  • Inspect PPE (gloves) prior to using hand tools, and if those gloves are found to be excessively dirty/worn, the worker should replace them to prevent the tool from slipping out of their hand or splinters/cuts from occurring.
  • Use the buddy system! Some tasks may be difficult to perform alone and could expose you to an injury; for example, prying at a heavy piece of roof coping from the roof edge. Working in the hot weather alone will weaken the worker, which can cause the worker to drop their tool off the edge or strain a muscle. Get help from a coworker to help maintain control of the tool used and/or prevent muscle strains or other injuries.

These Safe Work Practices can prevent multiple hazards from occurring. It is up to every one of us to understand and utilize these practices so we can all go home safely.

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