Checklist: Portable Power-Operated Tools and Equipment

Checklist: Portable Power-Operated Tools and Equipment

The same power tool that makes a worker’s job easy and efficient one day, could cause a tragic accident the next.  Safe handling and use of power saws, hand-held drills and even portable fans are a must.  Please note that this checklist does not ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, nor should it substitute for a comprehensive health and safety program.

  1. Are grinders, saws and similar equipment provided with appropriate safety guards?
  2. Are power tools used with the shield or guard recommended by the manufacturer?
  3. Are portable circular saws equipped with guards above and below the base shoe?
  4. Are circular saw guards checked to ensure guarding of the lower blade portion?
  5. Are rotating or moving parts of equipment guarded to prevent physical contact?
  6. Are all cord-connected, electrically operated tools and equipment effectively grounded or of the approved double-insulated type?
  7. Are effective guards in place over belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets on equipment such as concrete mixers, air compressors and the like?
  8. Are portable fans provided with full guards having openings of 1/2 inch or less?
  9. Is hoisting equipment available and used for lifting heavy objects, and are hoist ratings and characteristics appropriate for the task?
  10. Are ground-fault circuit interrupters, provided on all temporary electrical 15-, 20- and 30-ampere circuits, used during periods of construction? Or
  11. Do you have an assured equipment-grounding conductor program in place?
  12. Are pneumatic and hydraulic hoses on power-operated tools checked regularly for deterioration or damage?

Checklist: Using Air Power Tools

The use of portable tools involves many hazards, but air-operated tools present even more danger.  The following are a pre-task checklist and tips for safe use.

Before starting an air power tool:

  1. Check the tool for loose parts. Tighten if necessary.
  2. Check the air strainer in the tool. Clean if necessary.
  3. Lubricate the tool with high-grade, light machine oil. Place a few drops into the hose connection, unless an air line lubricator is being used.  A few drops every hour are required if the tool is operated continuously.
  4. Check all fittings for proper connection.
  5. Be sure the control valve is in the closed position. An open valve can result in a whipping tool.
  6. Check equipment for the tool retainer device. Without it, the tool may be ejected with force, possibly causing injury or damage to property.
  7. Check the provided guard equipment. Be sure it is properly installed.
  8. When changing tools, close the stop valve in the air supply line. Never kink the hose to save steps or time.

Safe air tool operators are efficient workers. These operators:

  1. Know their tools
  2. Can recognize defects at a glance
  3. Report all defective equipment
  4. Do not improvise make-shift tools
  5. Use the guards supplied by manufacturers
  6. Know the danger of loose spindles in the bearings
  7. Can spot signs of failure in drill steel
  8. Check polishing and other wheels for balance before use
  9. Avoid using flammable or toxic solvents to clean tools
  10. Seek and find the safe way to care for and work with air power tools