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Hand & Power Tools / Machine Guarding 

Hand and power tools are a common part of our everyday lives and are present in nearly every industry. These tools help us to easily perform tasks that otherwise would be difficult or impossible. However, these simple tools can be hazardous and have the potential for causing severe injuries when used or maintained improperly. Special attention toward hand and power tool safety is necessary in order to reduce or eliminate these hazards.

Summary of Requirements
  • Each employer shall be responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees, including tools and equipment which may be furnished by employees.
  • Compressed air shall not be used for cleaning purposes except where pressure is reduced to less than 30psi, and then only with safety glasses with side shields.
  • Provide proper personal protective equipment and have employees wear it (e.g. safety glasses, hand and arm protection, hearing protection, etc.)
  • Tools must be equipped with appropriate safety switches (type is dependent on blade shrank or wheel size) and must not be loaded until just prior to the intended firing time (e.g. nail gun).
  • In general, all tools and blades must be in a good condition and have the appropriate guarding. Blades of a fan must be guarded when less than 7 feet off the floor or work level.
  • Use the right tool for the job and keep it in a safe place.
  • Train employees to select the right tools for each job.
  • Before using a tool, the operator shall inspect it to determine that all operating moving parts operate and that it is clean.
  • Any tool that is malfunctioning shall be immediately removed from service.
  • Tools shall be inspected at regular intervals and shall be repaired in accordance with the manufacturer's specification.
Machine Guarding

Crushed hands and arms, severed fingers, blindness, etc. are part of a list of possible machinery related injuries.A good rule to remember is that any machine part, function or process which may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact with it can injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be either controlled or eliminated.


Summary of Requirements
  • One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, pinch points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, et
  • Guards shall be affixed to the machine where possible and secured elsewhere if for any reason attachment to the machine is not possible.
  • The guard shall be such that it does not offer an accident hazard in itself.All safeguards meet OSHA requirements
  • Whenever engineering controls are not available or are not fully capable of protecting the employee, operators must wear personal protective equipment
  • The safeguards are firmly secured and not easily removable.
  • The safeguards prevent workers hands, arms and other body parts from making contact with dangerous moving parts.
  • Special guards, enclosures or personal protective equipment have been provided, where necessary to protect workers from exposure to harmful substances used in machine operations.

Specific and detailed training is a crucial part of any effort to provide safeguarding against machine related hazards. Thorough operator training should involve instructions or hands-on training in the following:

  • A description and identification of the hazards associated with particular machines;
  • the safeguards themselves, how they provide protection, and the hazards for which they are intended;
  • how to use the safeguards and why;
  • how and under what circumstances safeguards can be removed, and by whom; and
  • what to do if a safeguard is damaged, missing or unable to provide adequate protection.