Checklist: Portable Power-Operated Tools and Equipment
The same power tool that makes a worker’s job easy and efficient one day, could cause a tragic accident the next. Safe handling and use of power saws, hand-held drills and even portable fans are a must. Please note that this checklist does not ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, nor should it substitute for a comprehensive health and safety program.
- Are grinders, saws and similar equipment provided with appropriate safety guards?
- Are power tools used with the shield or guard recommended by the manufacturer?
- Are portable circular saws equipped with guards above and below the base shoe?
- Are circular saw guards checked to ensure guarding of the lower blade portion?
- Are rotating or moving parts of equipment guarded to prevent physical contact?
- Are all cord-connected, electrically operated tools and equipment effectively grounded or of the approved double-insulated type?
- Are effective guards in place over belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets on equipment such as concrete mixers, air compressors and the like?
- Are portable fans provided with full guards having openings of 1/2 inch or less?
- Is hoisting equipment available and used for lifting heavy objects, and are hoist ratings and characteristics appropriate for the task?
- Are ground-fault circuit interrupters, provided on all temporary electrical 15-, 20- and 30-ampere circuits, used during periods of construction? Or
- Do you have an assured equipment-grounding conductor program in place?
- Are pneumatic and hydraulic hoses on power-operated tools checked regularly for deterioration or damage?
Checklist: Using Air Power Tools
The use of portable tools involves many hazards, but air-operated tools present even more danger. The following are a pre-task checklist and tips for safe use.
Before starting an air power tool:
- Check the tool for loose parts. Tighten if necessary.
- Check the air strainer in the tool. Clean if necessary.
- Lubricate the tool with high-grade, light machine oil. Place a few drops into the hose connection, unless an air line lubricator is being used. A few drops every hour are required if the tool is operated continuously.
- Check all fittings for proper connection.
- Be sure the control valve is in the closed position. An open valve can result in a whipping tool.
- Check equipment for the tool retainer device. Without it, the tool may be ejected with force, possibly causing injury or damage to property.
- Check the provided guard equipment. Be sure it is properly installed.
- When changing tools, close the stop valve in the air supply line. Never kink the hose to save steps or time.
Safe air tool operators are efficient workers. These operators:
- Know their tools
- Can recognize defects at a glance
- Report all defective equipment
- Do not improvise make-shift tools
- Use the guards supplied by manufacturers
- Know the danger of loose spindles in the bearings
- Can spot signs of failure in drill steel
- Check polishing and other wheels for balance before use
- Avoid using flammable or toxic solvents to clean tools
- Seek and find the safe way to care for and work with air power tools