Tools are routinely used inside a plant or out at a job site, so it is easy for workers to forget their potential hazards. Anyone who works with tools is likely aware of what the safe procedures are for using them. However, safe practices when carrying or storing tools are often not followed as users feel like any danger has passed. It is good to regularly remind workers that hazards do not necessarily stop when the work does. The National Safety Council had these tips for safely handling and storing tools to ensure security for yourself and others:
- Workers should not carry tools up or down a ladder if it can be avoided. Carrying the tool decreases their ability to safely ascend and descend. Ideally, tools should be hoisted up and down using a bucket or strong bag.
- Tools should always be carefully handed from one employee to another – never tossed. Pointed tools should be passed either in their carrier or with the handles toward the receiver.
- Workers carrying large tools or equipment on their shoulders should be sure to pay attention to clearances and other employees when turning and maneuvering around the workplace.
- Pointed tools such as chisels, screwdrivers, or drill bits should never be carried in a worker’s pocket. Acceptable ways to carry them include in a toolbox, pointed down in a tool belt or pocket tool pouch, or in the hand with the tip always held away from the body.
- Tools should always be put away when not in use. Leaving tools lying around on an elevated structure such as a scaffold poses a significant risk to workers below. This risk increases in areas with heavy vibration.
Think if these practices are being followed where you work. If not, additional training, signage, or positive reinforcement may be necessary to keep simple mistakes from causes your workers harm. To learn more about how Martin can help keep your employees safety visit our Safety page, and to reach out to us directly please Contact Us and let us provide a custom tailored solution for you.