The purpose of the Hand and Power Tool Policy is to protect employees from hazards associated with the use of hand held tools and hand held power tools, and to alert employees of the necessity to use, and inspect tools, according to manufacturer’s specifications.

The following points will be reinforced in a more contextual sense during training, orientation, and safety meetings.


  • Always use eye protection when using hand or power tools, as well as cut resistant gloves, hearing protection, chaps, hard hats, when necessary
  • Tools may only be operated by competent personnel
  • Use the right tool for the job – right type and right size
  •  The employees may only use tools that are in safe working order.
  •  It is the responsibility of the employee to inspect tools prior to use to look for:
    • cracked handles 
    • loose heads 
    • mushroomed heads on wedges, chisels, or similar tools
    • broken screwdriver tips
    • any other damage to the hand tool that would make it unsafe for use 
    • frayed cords, loose connections on power tools
  • If any maintenance is performed on a tool, record of the maintenance must be sent to HQ for file retention. Regular tool maintenance reduces the risk of injury.

Hand Tools

  • The employee must remove any damaged hand tool from service until it can be fixed, or dispose of the tool permanently. 
  • Keep cutting tools sharp and in good condition
  • Don’t work with oily, greasy or wet hands
  • Handle sharp edged and pointed tools with care
  • Carry pointed tools by your side with the points and heavy ends down.
  • Never use a tool for anything other than its intended purpose

Power Tools

  • When using electric power operated tools, the employee must ensure the tools are double insulated, grounded or used with ground fault circuit interrupters. 
  • Never carry a tool by the cord or hose
  • Never yank the cord or hose to disconnect it from the receptacle
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or articles that can get caught in the tool’s moving parts
  • Keep cords and hoses away from heat, oil and  sharp objects/edges
  • Disconnect tools when not in use, before servicing and cleaning and when changing accessories such as blades, bits and cutters
  • Keep all others not involved in the  work at a safe distance from the work area.
  • Avoid accidental starting
  • Keep good footing and and maintain good balance when operating power tools
  • Remove all damaged power tools from service by either disposing of the tool completely, or take it out of service by affixing a lock-out tag to the unit. 

Ergonomic Considerations

When selecting  and using a hand tool, it is important to:

  • Bend the tool, not the wrist; use tools with angled or bent handles when appropriate
  • Avoid high contact forces and static loading
  • Reduce excessive gripping force or pressure
  • Avoid extreme and awkward joint positions
  • Avoid twisting hand and wrist motion by using power tools rather than hand tools
  • Avoid repetitive finger movements, or at least reduce their number
  • Avoid or limit vibration and choose tools with vibration absorbing handles
  • Minimize the amount of force needed to activate trigger devices on power tools
  • Limit the weight of the tool to 1.4kg (3lbs) or less for tools operated with one hand.
  • Hold the tool close to the body. Do not overreach