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Safe use of Hand Tools

Safe Use of Hand Tools

Tools have always been indispensable helpmates, and a good set of hand tools is essential for any farm shop, machinery or facility repair. Unfortunately, tools also contribute to countless injuries when used incompetently.

  • Use the correct tool for the job.
  • Keep tools in good condition. Handles should be tight and free from defect. Cutting tools should be kept sharp. Wedges and punches should be free from "mushroom heads".
  • Use and maintain power tools according to their instructions.
  • Make sure power tools are properly grounded or are double insulated. Never cut the three-prong plug off or use a two prong adapter.
  • Switch off and unplug power tools before changing blades or servicing and repairing.
  • Wear clothing with no strings or loose ends to catch on things.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as glasses, goggles, dust masks, face shields, hearing protection, etc.
  • Keep bystanders at a safe distance.
  • Keep all guards and shields in place. Learn to use a "push stick" with table saws.
  • Unplug and put tools away after use. Consider locking out power tools to prevent others from using them without permission, especially young children.


  • Are tools in safe condition?
  • Are instruction manuals available?
  • Are power tools properly grounded?
  • Are guards and shields in place?
  • Is PPE available?
  • Are tools put away and properly stored?

Information supplied by the National Safety Council's Agricultural Division.

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