Powder Actuated Tools

1. General Requirements

a) Only employees who have been trained in the operation of the particular tool in use shall be allowed to operate a powder actuated tool.

b) The tool shall be tested each day before loading to see that safety devices are in proper working condition.  The method of testing shall be in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended procedure.

c) Personal protective equipment shall be used. (Face shield, safety glasses, gloves, hard hat, hearing protection)

d) Tools shall not be loaded until just prior to the intended firing time. Neither loaded nor empty tools are to be pointed at any employees. Hands shall be kept clear of the open barrel end.
e) Loaded tools shall not be left unattended.

f) Fasteners shall not be driven into very hard or brittle materials including, but not limited to, cast iron, glazed tile, surface hardened steel, glass block, live rock, face brick, or hollow tile.

g) Driving into materials easily penetrated shall be avoided unless such materials are backed by a substance that will prevent the pin or fastener from passing completely through and creating a flying missile hazard on the other side.

h) No fastener shall be driven into a spalled area caused by an unsatisfactory fastening.

i) Tools shall not be used in an explosive or flammable atmosphere.

j) All tools shall be used with the correct shield, guard, or attachment recommended by the manufacturer.

k) Powder actuated tools use by employees shall meet all other applicable standards.

l) Brace yourself at all times when working on ladders or scaffolds to maintain good balance.

m) Do not allow bystanders near the work. Shields for protecting workers against a possible ricochet may be necessary in the working area.

n) Use the manufacturer's information as a guide for safe operation and maintenance of the tool.

o) Use the tool at right angles to the work surface.

p) Check the chamber to see that the barrel is clean and free from any obstruction, before using the tool.

q) Do not use the tool where flammable or explosive vapors, dust or similar substances are present.

r) Do not place your hand over the front (muzzle) end of a loaded tool.

2. Care and Service

a) Clean and maintain tools according to the manufacturers' instructions.

b) Check tools before use to ensure that they are in good working order.

c) Any tool found not in proper working order, or that develops a defect during use shall immediately be tagged “Danger – Unsafe – Do Not Use” and removed from service and not be used until properly repaired.

d) Store tools and cartridges in a locked container when they are not in use. Ensure that the tool is unloaded before storing it.

3. Projectile Use

a) Clean and maintain tools according to the manufacturers' instructions.

b) Check tools before use to ensure that they are in good working order.

c) Tag defective tools "Out of service" and remove from service until properly repaired.

d) Store tools and cartridges in a locked container when they are not in use. Ensure that the tool is unloaded before storing it.

4. Charge Cartridges

a) Use only cartridges recommended by the tool manufacturer.

b) Check that the color of the cartridge is appropriate for work being done. Charge cartridges are color-coded to show their strength.

c) Conduct a first trial by using the weakest or lowest strength charge cartridge.

d) Provide adequate ventilation in confined spaces where powder-actuated tools are used.

e) Hold the tool in the fixing position for no less than 5 to 15 seconds when a tool misfires. Keep the tool pointed in a direction that will not cause injury to you or others and unload a cartridge with extreme caution.

f) Use caution when using tools near live electrical circuits. Make sure that the nails (etc.) do not enter live circuits buried or hidden in the base material.

g) Keep cartridges in a lock up when not in use.

h) Do not attempt to force a cartridge into a tool.

i) Do not discard unfired cartridges carelessly.

j) Do not carry cartridges loose or in a pocket. Carry them in the manufacturer's package.