April 2018 – Hand Tools

by John Howell,

Without the use of hand tools, the completion of a construction project would be nearly impossible. Yet, as vital as they are, they are often the cause of serious accidents. All too frequently, hand tools are used improperly or when they are defective. Since we use hand tools continually, it is important they be used properly. We are going to briefly cover proper use today.

Guide for Discussion

Pre-Work Inspection


  • Be sure the heads are safe ended or dressed.
  • Be sure the cutting edges are sharp and square.



  • The tangs should be protected with handles.
  • The teeth should be sharp and clean.



  • Be sure the handles are tight, unbroken and clean.
  • The face of the head should be smooth and not mushroomed.



  • Be sure handles are smooth and clean.
  • Be sure all bits should be sharp and square.



  • Blades should be kept sharp and oiled.
  • Handles should be smooth and continuous.


General Hand Tool Rules

  • Always use the right tool for the right job.
  • Use only tools in good condition.
  • Keep tools sharpened.
  • Store tools properly.
  • When chipping, always wear a face shield or safety glasses.
  • Never throw tools to co-workers.
  • Never use a tool in such a way that you will be injured if it slips.


Additional Discussion Notes:

Remember: Each tool is designed to perform a specific function. As long as you use the right tool and keep it in good operating condition, the various hand tools will serve you well. When you begin to improvise, expect the unexpected—injuries.

NOTE: Always promote a discussion on any of the topics covered in the Tool Box Talks. Should any question arise that you cannot answer, don’t hesitate to contact your Employer.


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