Although hand and power tools are very common in our everyday lives, there are parts on many tools that can be hazardous. Along with other safety precautions that should be followed such as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, these moving parts should be properly guarded.
Some examples of areas to be guarded include:
Guards should be in place to protect the operator from:
- Any moving or rotating parts
- The point of operation
- Pinch points
- Flying chips and sparks
Rules to note for guarding of hand and power tools:
- Guards should be firmly attached and not loose or moveable.
- One or more guards should be in place when any of the above hazards exist.
- Guards must never be removed when a tool is in use.
- Guarding is just one safety measure to be taken. Other measures should be combined where needed such as personal protective equipment or other protective barriers.
- Guards should never be altered such as being cut or pinned back.
- All guards should be attached to the tool where possible and where not possible a guard should be attached elsewhere to protect the worker from any hazards.
- Employees should be trained on any tool guarding they will be working with and rules around use and removal. They should know what to do if a guard is missing or damaged as well.