Keeping tools in good condition will help keep workers in good condition. Hand and power tools receive a great deal of outside use. It’s important to remember that exposure to heat and other weather elements can affect hand tool safety.
Inspect tools before use, a biannual thorough inspection of hand tools is recommended. It’s a good idea to check the safety of tools before it gets hot, or the weather turns from hot to wet.
There is always a concern about heat stress affecting workers, but the sun and high temperatures can create safety issues for tools as well.
- The wooden handles of tools can dry out, crack, and become loose, making them unsafe.
- The cases of power tools and their cords can become brittle and crack, creating electrical hazards.
- Wood and fiberglass ladders can be damaged by the sun
- The hoses on pneumatic or other pressure operated tools can become weakened by heat and/or damage from use in rough working environments.
- Planks and scaffolding parts can become dried or weakened
- Compressors and generators need to be checked for lubrication and belt damage
Companies should establish a maintenance cycle for tools. A systematic inspection and repair program will allow tools to be oiled, sharpened, thoroughly cleaned, and repaired or replaced. Tools can then be stored and ready for their next use. It’s also a good idea to keep a tool maintenance log; this can be critical importance in case of an accident.