Monday, February 8, 2010

Hand Tool Safety

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council

It’s now been a few weeks since we opened our Christmas presents. More than likely many of us received the latest in cool hand tools for our workshops. The general scenario is; (1) open the box, (2) identify that the tool – a new staple gun– is one you are familiar with, (3) toss the wrapping paper, box and stack of warnings and instruction booklets, (4) put the tool in your toolbox for later use. Now you have a job where a staple gun is required. Good opportunity to use the new tool, right? So, get your new “gun” and fire away. End this little story with loud screams of pain and other “colorful” phrases, followed by a trip to the local urgent care facility for a tetanus booster.

Take a close look at the photo. This is one of the “new design” staplers that takes advantage of the forward motion of your hand as you depress the trigger handle, to better drive the staple into the material. Yup: the staple will shoot out of the end of the tool that is being cradled by the operator’s left hand!

Always take time to familiarize yourself with a new tool, yes – read the directions. Those few moments may just save a painful injury, a trip to the doctor’s office, and an embarrassing call to your boss on the following morning, explaining that you can’t come to work today because you stapled yourself!
Picture source: Navy Safety Center

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