Tools and Equipment-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Tools and Equipment

  • Only tools and equipment which are in good condition may be used.
  • Tools shall only be used for the purpose for which they were designed.
  • Employees shall make frequent inspections of tools and equipment, and immediately remove from service any items found defective. The following are examples of the types of defects which should be looked for:
    • Split, broken, cracked, or splintered wooden handles.
    • Mushroomed heads on chisels or impact drills.
    • Wrench jaws which slip or do not hold.
    • Frayed cords, damaged or modified grounding plugs, or broken insulation
      • on electrical tools.
    • Rounded edges on sharp-edged tools.
    • Dull cutting tools.
  • When using hand tools, the employee shall place himself in such a position that he will avoid injury if the tool slips.
  • Only soft faced hammers (brass, plastic, rubber, or similar materials) shall be used on highly tempered steel tools such as cold chisels, star drills, etc. Proper eye protection must be worn when performing such an operation.
  • Files, rasps, and other tools having sharp tangs shall be equipped with approved handles.
  • Tools which are not in use shall be placed where they will not present a tripping or stumbling hazard.
  • Pointed tools shall never be carried edge or point up in pockets.
  • Tools shall not be thrown from one worker to another, or to another working location.
  • Extensions shall not be used on wrenches to gain leverage unless the wrench is designed to be used in such a fashion.
  • When cutting wire or any other material under tension, the material being cut shall be secured to prevent the ends from snapping free.
  • All power tools must be properly grounded before their use.
  • Gloves shall not be worn when operating lathes, drill presses, power saws, or similar equipment. Loose clothing must not be worn and long sleeves should be rolled up prior to operation.
  • Hooks, brushes, vacuums, or special tools shall be used to remove dust or chips. Compressed air shall not be used.
  • All machinery must be turned off when unattended.
  • Maintenance, repairs, adjustments, and measurements must not be made while saws, lathes, grinders, and similar equipment are in operation.
  • Compressed air shall never be used to dust off clothing, or be directed toward another person.
  • Sawblades, gears, sprockets, chains, shafts, pulleys, belts, and similar apparatus shall not be operated without the proper guarding.
  • Safety glasses, goggles, or face shields shall be worn when operating power tools.