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Hand tools are extensions of our hands. When we misuse our hands, we experience pain. When we misuse hand tools, the possibility of injury to ourselves or people working around us increases considerably. Furthermore, using a tool incorrectly can damage the tool or even cause the tool to fail. Here are some guidelines for hand tool safety.

Follow General Safety and Maintenance Practices

Safe tool use contributes to a safer, more efficient work environment. Misusing automotive tools is not only dangerous, it shows a lack of understanding of tool safety and a lack of respect for those around you. Also, if improper tool use causes an accident, downtime will impact the entire job.

Always wear approved eye protection when using hand tools. Metal will fly when it is cut. Safety glasses protect your eyes and prevent serious injury. Other workers in the vicinity should wear eye protection, as well.

Keep cutting tools sharp, lubricated, and in good repair. This applies to knives, bolt cutters, cable cutters, many types of pliers, and all other cutting tool sets.

When cutting wire, bolts, and similar materials, cuts should be made at a 90-degree angle to the work to avoid chipping the edges of the knives. Pliers should not be wiggled or rocked as you attempt to cut material, as this puts tremendous side pressure on the cutting surfaces and can result in the failure of the cutting knives.

Tool handles and power tools and accessory with dual-molded material allow for a softer, more comfortable grip on the outer surface and a harder, more durable grip on the inner surface and handle ends.

Well-designed tools often include a contoured thumb area for a firmer grip or color-coded handles for easy tool identification.

Insulated cordless tools reduce the chance of injury where the tool may make contact with an energized source.

Well-designed tools are a pleasure to use. They save time, give professional results and help you do your job more safely.

This article has covered the importance of using hand power tools safely and treating them with respect. Always remember, safety is essential to good job performance. Pay attention to what’s going on around you, be flexible, and adapt to changing conditions. Think before you react, and keep your head in the game.

Think about tool safety each and every time you begin a job, and you’ll perform your job safely and effectively. Those are your hands that are being extended by the pliers or the screwdriver. Treat your tools as carefully as you treat your hands.

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