Hand Tool Safety – Hammers
Hammers and other striking tools are some of the most widely used hand tools, and also the most often abused tools! They are made of various materials, differing sizes and for different applications.
Some basic guidelines include:
- NEVER use a hammer for anything other than what it was designed for
- NEVER strike one hammer with or against another hammer.
- NEVER strike concrete, steel chisels or other hard objects with a nail hammer as the face or object may chip, possibly resulting in serious injury.
- NEVER use a hammer with loose or damaged handle.
- NEVER use any hand tool without wearing the appropriate PPE.
- Where a hardened steel component requires impact to loosen or dislodge it, ensure the tool used (e.g. hammer) is made from a softer material, such as copper.
- Only authorized workers should carry out repair and maintenance tasks.
- Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as eye protection, gloves and long-sleeved clothing. This also applies to bystanders!
- Chisels, wedges or similar tools should be regularly inspected. If they show signs of dents, cracks, chips, mushrooming or excessive wear, they should be discarded rather than redressed.
- Ensure all workers who use steel tools or implements are aware of limitations when striking hardened surfaces.
- Only purchase and use quality tools, ideally, DIN / ISO / SABS approved.
- Be extra careful when using sledgehammers.