Tools have always been indispensable helpmates, and a good set of hand tools is essential for any farm shop, machinery or facility repair. Unfortunately, tools also contribute to countless injuries when used incompetently.
- Use the correct tool for the job.
- Keep tools in good condition. Handles should be tight and free from defect. Cutting tools should be kept sharp. Wedges and punches should be free from "mushroom heads".
- Use and maintain power tools according to their instructions.
- Make sure power tools are properly grounded or are double insulated. Never cut the three-prong plug off or use a two prong adapter.
- Switch off and unplug power tools before changing blades or servicing and repairing.
- Wear clothing with no strings or loose ends to catch on things.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as glasses, goggles, dust masks, face shields, hearing protection, etc.
- Keep bystanders at a safe distance.
- Keep all guards and shields in place. Learn to use a "push stick" with table saws.
- Unplug and put tools away after use. Consider locking out power tools to prevent others from using them without permission, especially young children.
Are tools in safe condition?
Are instruction manuals available?
Are power tools properly grounded?
Are guards and shields in place?
Is PPE available?
Are tools put away and properly stored?
Information supplied by the National Safety Council’s Agricultural Division, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) – www.necasag.org