Hand and Power Tools

It shall be the policy of The ESCO Group to implement the various requirements of the Hand and Power Tools regulation as required by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

1. Application and Policy

a) ESCO Group’s Hand and Power Tools in construction program applies to all construction work where an employee may be occupationally exposed to different equipment.  All work related to construction, alteration or repair, including painting and decorating, is included.  Under our plan, construction includes, but is not limited to, the following:

i. Demolition or salvage of structures

ii. New construction, alteration, or repair, or renovation of structures

iii. Installation of products

b) It shall be ESCO Group’s policy that all hand and power tools be maintained in a safe condition.  Wooden handles shall be tight and free from cracks or splinters.  Impact tools must not have mushroomed heads.

c) Power tools will have the proper guard attached, and they must be used as intended.  Electric hand tools must:

i. Have double insulated frames or have the frames grounded

ii. Have a constant pressure switch

iii. Must not be raised or lowered by the cord

d) All electrical connections must have all prongs intact with cords in good condition.

e) All moving parts of machinery must be guarded if the parts are exposed to contact by the operator.

f) Personal protective equipment must be worn by operators if there is a danger of falling, flying, abrasive or splashing objects, or harmful dusts, fumes, mists, vapors or gases.

g) Compressed air must not be used for cleaning if the pressure is over 30 psi.

h) Power actuated tools, must be operated only by trained personnel wearing protective equipment.  All operations must be in accordance with the standard practices.

i) All equipment, which produces dust, fumes, mist, vapors or gases in concentrations that are harmful upon exposure to employees, must have exhaust ventilation.

2. Safety Rules

a) ESCO Group will enforce the following safety rules for power tools:

i. All tools grounded, unless double insulated.  If a tool is equipped with three-prong plug, it shall be plugged into a three-hole electrical receptacle.  If an adapter is used to accommodate two prong receptacles, the adapter wire must be attached to a known ground.  Never remove the third prong.

ii. Guards must be in place and in working order.

iii. Work areas must be clean.

iv. Avoid dangerous environments.  Power tools will not be used in damp or wet locations.

v. All visitors shall be kept at safe distances from work areas.

vi. When not in use, tools shall be stored in dry, high, or locked places.

vii. No loose clothing or jewelry may be worn.

viii. Use safety glasses and face or dust masks if operations are dusty.

ix. Never carry tools by cord or yank them to disconnect from a receptacle.

x. Keep tools sharp and clean for the best and safest performance.

xi. Disconnect tools when not in use, before servicing, when changing accessories such as blades, bits cutters, etc.

xii. Be sure keys and adjustment wrenches are removed from tools before turning them on.

3. Maintenance Check List

a) After performing inspection procedures, any tool found to be damaged or defective shall be tagged “Danger Unsafe DO NOT USE” and removed from service until repaired or replaced.

b) ESCO Group will ensure the following power tool maintenance checklist is in effect:

i. Cord Sets and Extension Cords

1. Visually check cords for cuts or other damage.  Examine plugs for damage.  If ground terminal is missing, the plug shall be replaced.

ii. Switch

1. Check mechanical operations of any switches with the plug disconnected and check secure mounting and any other obvious defects.

iii. Chucks, Collets, or Other Tool Holding Devices

1. Check that parts are in good functional condition.  Also, check that proper size wrenches and keys are available.

iv. Guards

1. Check guards for proper installation. Movable guards should function smoothly.

v. Housing and General Hardware

1. Check the general condition of housing for defects and or damage.  Replace any missing hardware and tighten all loose bolts and or fittings.

vi. Blades and Bits

1. Check for any damage or defects.  Re-sharpen as required and reinstall in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, and use only those accessories recommended by the manufacturer.

vii. Maintenance

1. Follow manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures.

viii. Leakage Current Test (per assured grounding program)

1. This test should be performed using an approved ground fault interrupter.  The test procedure shall be performed per the manufacturer’s instructions with the tool being in each of its modes of operation.  The tool should be operated at no load to check commutation and listen for unusual noise, which might indicate mechanical trouble in the drive train, bearings, etc.  Any tools which trip the GFI should be immediately identified with a red tag as unsafe and be repaired by qualified personnel in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations prior to return to service.

4. Hand Tools Program

a) The use and care of hand tools bare a direct relationship to the degree of hazard involved in construction operations.  ESCO Group strictly prohibits the use of unsafe hand tools.

b) ESCO Group will observe and enforce the following hand tool program:

i. Safe Condition

1. Cutting tools shall be kept sharp and chisels should not be mushroomed.  The heads of tools should fit tightly; nails or similar substitutes should not be used to wedge heads.  Cracked or damaged heads and loose or cracked handles shall be replaced and kept clean of grease, dirt and the like, both to eliminate the hazard of slippage and subsequent injury during use and for protection against rust and corrosion.

ii. Care

1. When not in use, tools should be stored in their boxes, tray, containers or other properly designated place.  They should also be stored carefully to prevent damage to each other and avoid hazards to persons handling them.  Tools should neither be allowed to lie or be left near the edges of excavation or trenches where they can fall and injure employees.

iii. Rules for Hand Tools:

1. Select the proper tool for the job

2. Use the tool properly

3. Make certain the tool is in proper condition

4. Store it properly