Hand tools are non-powered or operate only through physical exertion by hand.
Some examples of hand tools include anvils, axes, chisels, files, hammers, hand boring tools, planes, pliers, punches, saws, scissors, screw drivers, tin snips, and wrenches. Hazards associated with hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance.
Hand Tool Safety
To prevent injury, follow the guidelines listed below:
Power tools, both mounted and portable, are tools that require a power source to operate. There are several types of portable power tools, based on the power source they use: electric, pneumatic, liquid fuel, hydraulic, explosive-actuated, and powder-actuated.
Examples of regulated portable power tools are portable abrasive wheels and grinders, lawn mowers, powered drills, portable circular saws, portable belt sanding machines, explosive-actuated fastening tools, jacks, and abrasive blast cleaning nozzles.
According to Government Notice: R: 1593 Electrical Machinery Regulations, 1988:
9. (1) No user shall permit the use of and no person shall use a portable electric tool the operating voltage of which exceeds 50 to earth unless –
(a) it is connected to a source of electrical energy incorporating an earth leakage protection device, the construction of which meets the requirements of a safety standard incorporated for this purpose in these regulations under section 36 of the Act; or
(b) it is connected to a source of electrical energy through the interposition between each tool and the source of an individually double-wound isolating transformer, the secondary winding of which is not earthed at any point and the construction of which meets the requirements of a safety standard incorporated for this purpose in these regulations under section 36 of the Act; or
(c) it is connected to a source of high frequency electrical energy derived from a generator which is used solely for supplying energy to such portable electric tool and which arrangement is approved by the chief inspector; or
(d) it is clearly marked that it is constructed with double or reinforced insulation.
(2) No person shall sell a portable electric tool constructed with double or reinforced insulation referred to in sub-regulation (1) (d) unless –
(a) it is clearly marked that it is constructed with such insulation; and
(b) its insulation is constructed in accordance with a safety standard incorporated for this purpose in these regulations under section 36 of the Act.
(3) No person shall use or permit the use of a portable electric tool which is not fitted with a switch to allow for easy and safe starting and stopping of the tool.
(4) The user shall maintain every portable electric tool, together with its flexible cord and plug, in a serviceable condition.
Offences and penalties
23. Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with a provision of regulations 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 or 22(1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding R1 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months and, in the case of a continuous offence, to an additional fine of R5 or to additional imprisonment of one day for each day on which the offence continues: Provided that the period of such additional imprisonment shall in no case exceed 90 days
With the Construction regulations, 2003 adding the following requirements about Construction Sites:
Electrical installations and machinery on construction sites
22.Notwithstanding the provisions contained in the Electrical Installation Regulations promulgated by Government Notice No.R.2920 of 23 October 1992 and the Electrical Machinery Regulations promulgated by Government Notice No. R.1593 of 12 August 1988, respectively, as amended, a contractor shall ensure that¾
(a) before construction commences and during the progress thereof, adequate steps are taken to ascertain the presence of and guard against danger to workers from any electrical cable or apparatus which is under, over or on the site;
(b) all parts of electrical installations and machinery are of adequate strength to withstand the working conditions on construction sites;
(c) in working areas where the exact location of underground electric power lines is unknown, employees using jackhammers, shovels or other hand tools which may make contact with a power line, are provided with insulated protective gloves or otherwise that the handle of the tool being used is insulated;
(d) all temporary electrical installations are inspected at least once a week and electrical machinery on a daily basis before use on a construction site by competent persons and the records of these inspections are recorded in a register to be kept on site; and
(e) the control of all temporary electrical installations on the construction site is designated to a competent person who has been appointed in writing.
Use and Care of Power Tools
Power tools must be equipped with guards and safety switches. They can be hazardous when used improperly. Types of power tools are determined by their power source: electric, pneumatic, liquid fuel, hydraulic, and powder-actuated.
To prevent hazards associated with the use of power tools, workers should observe the following general precautions:
Electric tools may cause electrical burns and shocks. To prevent the user from electrocution, electric tools must have a three-wire cord with a ground and be plugged into a grounded receptacle, be double insulated, or be powered by a low voltage isolation transformer to protect from burns and shocks. Three-wire cords contain two current carrying conductors and a grounding conductor. When an adapter is used to accommodate a two-hole receptacle, the adapter wire must be attached to a known ground. The third prong must never be removed from the plug.
Double-insulated tools are available that provide protection against electrical shock without third-wire grounding. On double insulated tools, an internal layer of protective insulation completely isolates the external housing of the tool.
The following general practices should be followed when using electric tools:
Pneumatic tools are powered by compressed air and include chippers, drills, hammers, and sanders. Some hazards associated with pneumatic tools include noise, vibration, fatigue, and strains. Additional hazards are described below:
Liquid Fuel Powered Tools
Fuel-powered tools are usually operated with gasoline. The most serious hazard associated with the use of fuel-powered tools is from fuel vapours that can burn or explode and also give off dangerous exhaust fumes. Fuel must be handled, transported, and stored only in approved flammable liquid containers, according to proper procedures for flammable liquids. Before refilling a fuel-powered tool tank, shut down the engine and allow it to cool to prevent accidental ignition of hazardous vapours. When a fuel-powered tool is used inside a closed area, effective ventilation and/or proper respirators such as atmosphere-supplying respirators must be utilized to avoid breathing carbon monoxide.
Fire extinguishers must also be available in the area.
Hydraulic Power Tools
The fluid used in hydraulic power tools must be an approved fire-resistant fluid and must retain its operating characteristics at the most extreme temperatures to which it will be exposed. The exception to fire-resistant fluid involves all hydraulic fluids used for the insulated sections of derrick trucks, aerial lifts, and hydraulic tools that are used on or around energized lines. This hydraulic fluid shall be of the insulating type.
The manufacturer’s has recommended safe operating pressure for hoses, valves, pipes, filters, and other fittings must not be exceeded.
All jacks – including lever and ratchet jacks, screw jacks, and hydraulic jacks – must have a stop indicator, and the stop limit must not be exceeded. Also, the manufacturer’s load limit must be permanently marked in a prominent place on the jack, and the load limit must not be exceeded.
A jack should never be used to support a lifted load. Once the load has been lifted, it must immediately be blocked up. Place a block under the base of the jack when the foundation is not firm, and place a block between the jack caps and load if the cap might slip.
To set up a jack:
All jacks must be lubricated regularly. Each jack must be inspected according to the following schedule:
Operating Controls and Switches
The following hand-held power tools must be equipped with a constant-pressure switch or control that shuts off the power when pressure is released:
These tools also may be equipped with a “lock-on” control, if it allows the worker to also shut off the control in a single motion using the same finger or fingers.
The following hand-held power tools must be equipped with a positive “on-off” control switch, a constant pressure switch, or a “lock-on” control: