It’s really important to stay safe while using any kind of tool, and even though screwdrivers, hammers, pliers and wrenches are hand tools, they can still cause considerable harm when not used correctly. Injuries to the hands and fingers are extremely common when using hand tools, some of which can be serious enough to land you in hospital, especially if a striking tool such as a hammer is involved. Fortunately though, they’re also pretty easy to avoid by adopting the right safety precautions when using them.
Here’s how to keep yourself safe when using these three, common hand tools:
Screwdriver safety tips
- Avoid using a screwdriver as type of device for prying things open
- When working on electrical components, always use a manual (hand tool) screwdriver
- Use both hands when using one; one hand can be used for the twisting action, while the other is used as a guide
- When working near combustibles, use screwdrivers that are non-sparking
- Once a screwdriver is damaged on the tip or handle, discard it
- Use only a screwdriver that fits the task correctly
Many an injury can be prevented by following these tips when using a screwdriver.
Hammer safety tips
- Do not strike at an angle onto a surface
- Do not strike a hammer on another hammer
- Always use a hammer that’s the right size for the job: the face’s diameter should be bigger than the striking surface by a minimum of 3/8 of an inch
- Check the handle of the hammer regularly for signs of damage or faults, and if broken or worn, replace immediately
- Check the head of the tool for cracks and damage before each use
- Always keep your hands and fingers out of the hammer’s striking zone, and when making the initial strike with the nail held firmly in place, do it with the right amount of force to slightly embed the nail into the surface
Plier safety tips
- Select the right size of plier for the task at hand
- Only ever use pliers at a temperature that won’t impact the hardness of the tool
- Don’t substitute a wrench with pliers
- Don’t strike with pliers
- When working near combustible materials, only ever use non-sparking pliers
- If using pliers with a small tip, you must always wear protective eye gear should the tip happen to break
Wrench safety tips
- Select the right size of wrench for the task at hand
- For final tightening or when working on fasteners that won’t budge, use a socket wrench
- When working near electrical components, always use an insulated or manual wrench
- Check your wrench for any signs of damage or cracks before every use
- Never use a wrench for striking
By following the advice given above and taking your time when using manual tools, you can keep yourself out of the accident and emergency ward at your local hospital, and successfully complete a range of DIY tasks around the home or office.
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