3 Principles for the Safe Use of Tools

Fred's Appliance Academy
July 20, 2018

There’s no doubt that an appliance technician’s tools are important for getting a job done correctly. However, poorly handled tools are not only unhelpful, they can also be dangerous to the user.
That’s why it’s critical that appliance technicians understand how to use their tools properly and responsibly; otherwise, an accident is much more likely to occur and someone could get hurt as a consequence. Below are three principles for the safe use of tools and what you need to know about preventing potentially dangerous accidents.

Know How to Use Tools Correctly

The first principle of tool safety is understanding how to properly use them. The incorrect use of tools can cause serious injuries to individuals and may occur due to lack of knowledge or deliberate misuse. Regardless whether the problem is ignorance or carelessness, the end result is often the same.
That’s why the first step in using tools correctly is to receive appropriate, thorough training and instruction. While most technicians understand that complex or powerful tools require training for their use, even simple hand tools are not exempt from this requirement.
For example, an ordinary hammer can cause crushing injuries or send flying fragments of metal toward a person’s eyes. A pair of pliers can slip and pinch fingers or slam knuckles. Training can educate an individual on the proper technique and help them understand how to avoid being injured by these and other common tools.
In addition to being trained well, proper tool usage requires the reading of manuals and instructions. While these documents aren’t always the most interesting or exciting reading material, you should never skip over them when preparing to use a new tool. Their usage and safety guidelines are critical to being successful and safe.
Finally, misuse is another common problem that leads to injuries and accidents. Tools are purposely made for specific roles, and attempting to use a given tool for something other than what it was made to do can lead to accidents. For example, never use a screwdriver to punch holes or pry objects. This type of misuse, though common, can hurt you or someone else.

Keep Tools Well-Maintained

Another important consideration for using tools safely is to keep them well-maintained. Poor maintenance or lack of maintenance can cause tools to fail and result in injuries.
That’s why tool users should always make maintenance a top priority. Maintenance involves several specific facets, including:
  • Adhering to recommended maintenance schedules provided by tool manufacturers
  • Properly lubricating moving parts on a timely basis
  • Replacing parts that wear over time due to normal use
  • Protecting tools from corrosion or other environmental damage
  • Sharpening blades on cutting tools
A failure to do these things can hurt you. For example, a bladed tool that has become dull can injure a user if excessive force is required for cutting and the tool fails as a result.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

Another way that appliance technicians can guard themselves against injury is to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when using tools. Personal protective equipment entails a wide range of measures, including the use of eye goggles or safety glasses, wearing gloves and the use of steel toe boots, for example.
The reason that PPE matters so much is that it provides a barrier between flesh and metal, as it is there to guard against unexpected events during tool use. Without PPE, users are exposed to the dangers of tool failure or self-inflicted errors.
If you have questions about tool usage or understanding the safety issues surrounding them, be sure to contact Fred’s Appliance Academy or our tool shop for help. We are here to help you make these big decisions and support you in all your efforts to keep tool safety front-and-center.
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