Hand Tool Safety: Files, Chisels, Hammers, Screwdrivers

Hand Tool Safety: Files, Chisels, Hammers, Screwdrivers

Before using any of these tools inspect it to ensure that it is in good condition. 


  • Do not use a file as a pry bar, hammer, screwdriver or chisel.
  • When using a file or a rasp, grasp the handle in one hand and the toe of the file in the other.
  • Do not hammer on a file.


  • Use the chisel that has been sharpened. Do not use a chisel that has a dull cutting edge.
  • Do not use chisels that have mushroomed striking heads.
  • Hold a chisel by using a tool holder, if possible.
  • Clamp small work pieces in the vise and chip towards the stationary jaw when you are working with a chisel.


  • Use a claw hammer for pulling nails.
  • Do not strike nails or other objects with the cheek of the hammer.
  • Do not strike a hardened steel surface, such as a cold chisel, with a claw hammer.
  • Do not strike one hammer against another hammer.
  • Do not use a hammer if your hands are oily, greasy or wet.
  • Do not use a hammer as a wedge or a pry bar, or for pulling large spikes.
  • Use only the sledge-type hammer on a striking face wrench.
  • Do not use a hatchet as a hammer.
  • Do not use hammers with rounded, mushroomed, or damaged heads.


  • Always match the size and type of screwdriver blade to fit the head of the screw.
  • Do not hold the work piece against your body while using a screwdriver.
  • Do not put your fingers near the blade of the screwdriver when tightening a screw.
  • Use a drill, nail, or an awl to make a starting hole for screws.
  • Do not force a screwdriver by striking with a hammer or using a pliers to twist it.
  • Do not use a screwdriver as a punch, chisel, pry bar or nail puller.
  • When you are performing electrical work, use the screwdriver that has the blue handle. This screwdriver is insulated.
  • Do not carry a screwdriver in your pocket.
  • Do not use a screwdriver if your hands are wet, oily or greasy.
  • Do not use a screwdriver to test the charge of a battery.
  • When using the spiral ratchet screwdriver, push down firmly and slowly