Hand Tool Safety toolbox talk

A simple, 5 minute outline of what to cover in a toolbox talk on Hand Tool Safety.

Injuries can happen if the wrong hand tool is used for the job, if the tool is in poor condition, is not used correctly or the correct PPE is not worn.

Why run a Hand Tool Safety Toolbox Talk?

  • Prevent unnecessary injury from hand tools by improving awareness and training
  • Assist with understanding of legislative aspects and standards
  • Fewer injuries means higher productivity

Select the right tool for the job

Make sure the tool is:

  • Designed for the job
  • The right size 
  • Can be used in a comfortable position and requires a minimum of force
  • Has a non-slip grip or handle fitted for improved grip/ stability
  • Do not modify a tool 
  • Only use a tool if you are competent to do so

Check if the tool is in good condition

  • Look for any wear or damage
  • Tools should not be rusty, warped, splintered or cracked
  • Be wary of tools covered in paint, dirt or grease that might be hiding some damage
  • Make sure cutting tools are sharp

Wear the right PPE

  • Eye protection such as safety glasses with side shields or googles
  • Gloves that protect the hand but still allow tool to be gripped

Check the surrounding area

  • Ensure there are no slip / trip hazards
  • Make sure tools are insulated if using near energised electrical parts

Use the tool safely

  • Cut away from yourself when using chisels, knives and other edged tools. 
  • Handle sharp-edged and pointed tools with care. 
  • Don’t force screws; make sure that the correct screw or fixing for the job is being used. 
  • Where possible, secure work with clamps or a vice, freeing both hands to operate the tool used.
  • Keep your balance and proper footing when working, being careful not to overreach.

Transporting tools

  • Never carry sharp tools in your pocket, use a tool box or tool belt
  • Don’t throw a tool to a fellow worker
  • Check the tool before you put it away for damage and sharpness
  • Put the tool away in the right place

Key takeaways:

  • Select the right tool for the job
  • Only use a tool if you are competent to do so
  • Check the tool is in good condition
  • Wear the right PPE
  • Check the surrounding area for hazards
  • Use the tool safely
  • Transport tools safely and put away in the right place when you’re finished. 

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