Tool Safety - Habitat for Humanity Edmonton

Tool Safety - Habitat for Humanity Edmonton
Air Nail Gun Safety
As with most labour-saving devices, nail guns decrease the amount of labour while increasing risk. The
tool’s ability to fire several nails per second at a velocity of more than 1,000 feet per second presents
obvious hazards. If you have never used the tool, have Habitat for Humanity employees show you how
and then operate it with the supervision of that employee.
1. Wear all required P.P.E.
2. Read the operator’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s specifications.
3. Use the “sequential-trip trigger” mode, which requires that you press the gun against the wood
and then press the trigger. You then have to release the trigger and press it again. A faster but
more dangerous technique is when you press the trigger before you touch the wood with the nail
gun; you can then fire a nail each time you touch the gun to the wood. According to the CDC, the
sequential-trip-trigger mode would prevent two-thirds of all injuries caused by the other method.
4. Air hoses can present a tripping hazard. Know where they are, especially if you are working
above ground level.
5. Make sure of your footing and stay balanced. Don’t reach too far.
6. Exercise extreme caution when operating the tool around other workers. Never point a nail gun
at a worker.
7. As with a firearm, always assume the nail gun is loaded and ready to fire.
8. Keep the air supply hose away from heat, oil and sharp edges.
9. Don’t use nail guns on scaffolds, ladders or other structures.
10. Don’t use nail guns on OSB or near corners or edges. If you do, you run the risk of firing a nail
through the material and damaging something or creating a personnel hazard.
11. Disconnect the nail gun from the air supply when:
A) Clearing jams or making adjustments.
B) You are not using the nail gun or you are leaving it unattended.
C) Moving to another work area.
D) Passing the air nail gun to someone else.
12. Make sure you know what you are nailing into; use caution when nailing into a knot in the
lumber.
13. When nailing horizontally, move the tool forward and not backward.
14. Never walk around with your finger on the trigger.
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Air Stapler Gun Safety
As with most labour-saving devices, staple guns decrease the amount of labour while increasing risk. The
tool’s ability to fire several staples per second at a velocity of more than 1,000 feet per second presents
obvious hazards. If you have never used the tool have Habitat for Humanity employees show you how to
operate the tool and then operate it with the supervision of that employee.
1. Wear all required P.P.E.
2. Read the operator’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s specifications.
3. Unlike the air nailer, the staple gun does not have the “sequential-trip trigger” mode option,
which requires that you press the gun against the wood and then press the trigger. It can be used
sequentially all the time, a faster but more dangerous technique. According to the CDC, the
sequential-trip-trigger mode would prevent two-thirds of all injuries caused by the other method.
4. Air hoses can present a tripping hazard. Know where they are, especially if you are working
above ground level.
5. Make sure of your footing and stay balanced. Don’t reach too far.
6. Exercise extreme caution when operating the tool around other workers. Never point a staple
gun at a worker.
7. As with a firearm, always assume the staple gun is loaded and ready to fire.
8. Keep the air supply hose away from heat, oil and sharp edges.
9. Don’t use staple guns on scaffolds, ladders or other structures.
10. Use staple guns on O.S.B only.
11. Disconnect the staple gun from the air supply when:
A) Making adjustments or clearing jams
B) You aren’t using the staple gun or you are leaving it unattended.
C) Moving to another work area.
D) Passing the staple gun to someone else
12. When nailing horizontally, move the tool forward and not backward.
13. Never walk around with your finger on the trigger.
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Circular Saw Safety Tips
The circular saw is the most dangerous, misused and abused tool in a do-it-yourselfer’s tool shed. Here is
what we, at Habitat for Humanity, have learned about safety, proper techniques and maintenance.
Some History
When portable, electric circular saws were first made, the motor was on the right, the
blade on the left and the handle was above the blade. When you got to the end of a
cut, the weight of the motor would naturally make the saw fall off to the right and
butcher the end of the cut.
Then someone came up with the bright idea of putting the motor on the left and the
blade on the right. This shifted the main weight of the saw and the majority of the
base to the stable side of the cut. But with the blade on the right, a right-handed
person has to lean over the top of the saw to see the line of the cut.
A few years ago, a company produced a circular saw with the blade on the left — and
moved the handle so the saw is balanced. Now some other manufacturers are seeing
the light.
If you use your right hand to run a saw, buy one with blade on the left; if you use your left hand, buy
one with the blade on the right. You need to see where the blade is cutting to make an accurate cut; and
working in a good position is important. The position of making a cut with an electric saw is the same as
making a cut with a handsaw or hacksaw: The cut line, the blade, your forearm, elbow and shoulder
should all be in one straight line.
Keep your finger off the trigger (switch) until you are ready to make a cut. When you plug a saw into a
power cord, you have created a power supply for a tool that could easily hurt you or your co-workers.
Never cut a board in the middle that is just lying on two sawhorses, it will sag or collapse about twothirds of the way through the cut and bind the saw, causing kickback. The only time you can safely cut a
board using sawhorses is when you are only cutting off a short end, and the cut should either fall to the
floor, caught by someone or be resting on addition saw horses.
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Never use a circular saw to notch or cut out a stud that is in a framed wall. The saw will buck. Use a
reciprocating saw (saws all) for this procedure.
Always have a safe place to put your saw. Never set it down on the blade guard or drop it on the
ground. Always lay a saw on the side the blade is on (not blade up).
Don't stand on the cord. When you run out of cord, the saw could kick back and cut you.
All of the area where you are using a saw should be clean, leaving nothing that could cause you to trip
and fall while carrying or using a circular saw.
Adjusting the Saw
Now we are ready to make a cut, but first set the blade depth of the saw blade to the thickness of the
board to be cut plus one-eighth inch.
Place the nose (front) of the saw base on the board to be cut, with the blade about one-quarter-inch
from the board, align the blade with the mark as straight as you can, slide a speed square up to the side
of the base and grasp it with your hand to secure it to the board. The side of the saw base and the speed
square should be exactly parallel.
Make the Cut
Start the motor and slowly push the saw forward until it just touches the board. If you are a little off the
mark, back the saw up one-eighth inch (while it is still running) and the vibration of the saw will let you
go to the left or right to line up the blade with the mark.
Push the saw slowly through the board and let the saw do its job. Do not crowd the saw (push it too fast).
You will feel when the saw has cut through the board, because they will both move, only slightly, but you
will see and feel them separate. Now, take your finger off the trigger and do not move the saw. Let the
motor and blade come to a complete stop. Never lift or move a saw from a cut while it is still running.
This is the most important thing to remember.
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Compound Sliding Miter Saw Safety
a. Wear eye protection.
b. Keep hands out of path of saw blade.
c. Do not operate saw without guards in place.
d. Do not perform any operation freehand.
e. Never reach around saw blade.
f.
Turn off tool and wait for saw blade to stop before moving material or changing settings.
g. Disconnect power (or unplug tool as applicable) before changing blade or servicing.
1. KEEP HANDS AWAY FROM CUTTING AREA. Do not reach underneath work or in blade cutting path with
hands and fingers for any reason. Always turn the power off.
2. Always use a clamp to secure the material when possible. Keep pressure on material while cutting to
minimize risk of blade pinching and kickback. Saw may slip, walk or slide while cutting long, heavy or
twisted material.
3. Be sure the blade clears the material. Never start the saw with the blade touching the material. Allow
motor to come up to full speed before starting cut.
4. Make sure the miter table and bevel function are locked into position before operating the saw. Lock
the miter table by securely tightening the miter lock levers. Lock the saw arm (bevel function) by securely
tightening the bevel lock lever.
5. Never hold onto or bind the free scrap end of the material being cut, in any operation. Always hold
onto the piece that you want to cut.
6. Never cut more than one piece at a time.
7. Never perform any operation free hand. Always place the material to be cut on the miter table and
position it firmly against the fence as a backstop. Always use the fence.
8. Never hand hold material that is too small to be clamped. Keep hands clear of the cutting area.
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9. Do not reach behind, under, or within three inches of the blade and its cutting path with hands and
fingers for any reason.
10. Never reach to pick up material, a piece of scrap, or anything else that is in or near the cutting path of
the blade.
11. Do not move the material, or make adjustment to any cutting angle while the saw is running and the
blade is rotating. Any slip can result in contact with the blade causing serious personal injury.
12. Avoid awkward operations and hand positions where a sudden slip could cause your hand to move
into the blade. Always make sure you have good balance. Never operate the miter saw on the floor or in
a crouched position.
13. Do not stand or have any part of the body in line with the path of the saw blade.
14. If any part of this miter saw is missing or should break, bend, or fail in any way, or should any
electrical component fail to perform properly, shut off the power switch, remove the miter saw plug
from the power source and have damaged, missing, or failed parts replaced before resuming operation.
15. MAKE SLIDING CUTS by pushing the saw blade down on top of the material then sliding it back
toward the rear of the saw. DO NOT pull the saw towards you while making a cut.
16. Let the saw do the work, do not force the cut.
Do not put your hands in this area!
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Cordless/Corded Drill Safety Tips
1. Avoid wearing loose sleeves or clothing that covers your hands. Buttons and loose fabric can
become snagged in the rotating equipment, causing injury to your arm or broken drill bits.
2. Beware of hot drill bits. If you have ever accidentally touched a drill bit after finishing a project,
you know that the metal can get HOT. Avoid laying your drill down where pets, children, other
workers or even you may brush up against the hot bit.
3. Wear proper P.P.E. Splintering pieces of wood or other material may be projected out from
your work area.
Look before you drill. Buildings that comply with the National Electric Code should have metal plates
covering internal wall wiring, but when drilling into a floor or ceiling, carefully inspect the area for live
electrical wires. This may involve going under the house or into the attic to scout the location of your
building's wiring. If working in an older structure, have it inspected to make sure it is up to code.
Here are a few DON'Ts to remember when operating your cordless drill:
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DON'T walk or run with your finger on the trigger.
•
DON'T leave the drill unattended in an area with pets or children.
•
DON'T mix and match drills and chargers.
•
DON'T use a cordless drill with loose or damaged parts.
•
DON'T throw out that instruction manual!
Use the Right Tool for the Job – A cordless drill that is either too small or too big for the job at hand, can
cause problems. Forcing a small drill by pushing too hard can cause the tool to skid, or the bit to snap and
cause injury. Using a large drill in a small space can force you to work in an awkward, unsafe position. If
the drill binds it can cause serious wrist or hand injury.
Use a Clamp or a Vise – This is one of the most important cordless drill safety tips besides the protective
eye wear. When drilling into a small piece it is always tempting to hold the material in one hand and the
drill in the other hand. If the drill binds the material can spin around rapidly and cause serious injury.
NEVER drill without clamping your work properly
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Jig Saw safety
a) Wear eye protection.
b) Keep hands out of path of saw blade.
c) Do not operate saw without guards in place.
d) Do not perform any operation freehand.
e) Never reach around saw blade.
f)
Turn off tool and wait for saw blade to stop before moving material or changing settings.
g) Disconnect power (or unplug tool as applicable) before changing blade or servicing.
A jigsaw is a wonderful tool that can be used to make any number of items. It is designed for cutting
curves, circles, portholes, diamonds, triangles or any odd shape where a straight edge saw will not fit.
Using a jigsaw, you can cut a square hole for a dryer vent, a rectangle mail slot in your front door, cut a
porthole in the back wall of the dog house, make a spice jar holder, or make a nice oval or diamond
shaped picture frame.
1. Wear safety goggles or a face shield, and workman's gloves to protect your eyes and fingers. Saw dust
will fly into the air and possibly land in your eyes.
2. Tie back loose hair, tuck in long beards, and remove jewelry or watches.
3. Make sure your sleeves are tight at your wrist and will not catch on the wood or saw. Wearing long
pants is recommended while wood working.
4. Use clamps to secure the cutting surface to the work surface. You do not want the wood or cutting
surface to shift while you are moving the saw forward.
5. Always unplug and turn off the saw when you are changing or tightening the blade. Select the correct
blade for each type of material you are cutting. Do not use a metal blade to cut a wood surface and do
not use a wood blade to cut metal or tin. Also, make sure your saw cutting speed is set for the type of
material you are cutting.
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6. Install the blade with the teeth facing the front of the saw. Check the owner's manual for correct blade
installation instructions for your model and make of jigsaw.
7. It is best to drill a 3/8 inch pilot hole at the top edge of your cut out to properly position your jig saw
for cutting. Drill the hole where you want to start cutting and place the blade in the hole. You cannot cut
without a pilot hole.
8. Never start the saw while the blade is touching the wood.
9. Do not start cutting until the blade is running at the proper speed.
10. Check under the cutting surface to make sure you have enough clearance for the blade to go up and
down without hitting anything.
11. Never reach in front of the saw or over the saw while the saw is operating.
12. Watch for burrs and splinters on the cut edge of your materials.
13. Let the saw do the work, do not force the cut.
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Ladder Safety
Be sure the ladder being used has the proper duty rating to carry the combined weight of the user and
the material being installed. Be sure that metal steps and rungs are grooved or roughened to prevent
slipping. A ladder's duty rating tells you its maximum weight capacity. There are four categories of duty
ratings:
Type IA
Type I
These ladders have a duty rating of 300
These ladders have a duty rating of 250
pounds. Type IA ladders are recommended pounds. Type I ladders are manufactured for
for extra-heavy-duty industrial use.
heavy-duty use.
Type II
Type III
These ladders have a duty rating of 225
These ladders have a duty rating of 200
pounds. Type II ladders are approved for
pounds. Type III ladders are rated for light-duty
medium-duty use.
use.
Type IA and Type I ladders are the only acceptable ladders on a construction jobsite.
Use the proper size ladder for the job. The average worker will generally work most comfortably at his or
her shoulder level, which is about 5 feet above where they stand. Since the worker must stand at least 2
feet down from the top of a ladder, the maximum working height would be about 3 feet above the top of
the ladder or 5 feet minus 2 feet. For example, a 5-foot stepladder would give an effective working height
of 8 feet or 5 feet plus 3 feet. When using straight or extension ladders, the worker stands 3 feet down
from the top, which gives an effective working height of 2 feet above the ladder top.
Ladder Inspection
1. Always check a ladder before using it. Inspect wood ladders for cracks and splits in the wood.
Check all ladders to see that steps or rungs are tight and secure. Be sure that all hardware and
fittings are properly and securely attached. Test movable parts to see that they operate without
binding or without too much free play. Inspect metal and fiberglass ladders for bends and breaks.
2. Never use a damaged ladder. Tag it "Defective" and report it to your supervisor so that it may be
removed from the job.
Ladder Setup
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1. Place ladder feet firmly and evenly on the ground or floor. Make sure the ladder is sitting straight
and secure before climbing it. If one foot sits in a low spot, build up the surface with firm
material.
2. Do not try to make a ladder reach farther by setting it on boxes, barrels, bricks, blocks or other
unstable bases.
3. Do not allow ladders to lean sideways. Level them before using.
4. Brace the foot of the ladder so there is not any danger of slipping.
5. Never set up or use a ladder in a high wind, especially a lightweight metal or fiberglass type. Wait
until the air is calm enough to insure safety.
6. Never set up a ladder in front of a door unless the door is locked or a guard is posted.
7. Do not use ladders on ice or snow unless absolutely necessary. If they must be used on ice or
snow, use spike or spur-type safety shoes on the ladder feet and be sure they are gripping
properly before climbing.
8. Use Safety shoes on ladder feet whenever there is any possibility of slipping.
Ladder Climbing and Standing
1. Keep the steps and rungs of ladders free of grease, oil, wet paint, mud, snow, ice, paper and
other slippery materials. Also clean such debris off your shoes before climbing a ladder.
2. Always face a ladder when climbing up or down. Use both hands and maintain a secure grip on
the rails or rungs. You must always have 3 points of contact with the ladder at all times.
3. Never carry heavy or bulky loads up a ladder. Climb up yourself first, and then pull up the
material with a rope.
4. Climb and stand on a ladder with your feet in the center of the steps or rungs.
5. Do not overreach from a ladder, or lean too far to one side. Overreaching is probably the most
common cause of falls from ladders. A good rule is to always keep your belt buckle inside the
rails of a ladder. Work as far as you can reach comfortably and safely, then move the ladder to a
new position.
6. Never climb onto a ladder from the side, from above the top or from one ladder to another.
7. Never slide down a ladder.
Proper Use of Ladders
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1. Never use metal ladders around exposed electrical wiring. Metal ladders should be marked with
tags or stickers reading "CAUTION-Do Not Use Around Electrical Equipment" or similar wording.
When using a ladder where there is traffic, erect warning signs or barricades to guide traffic away
from the foot of the ladder. If this is not possible, have someone hold and guard the bottom of
the ladder.
2. Do not try to move a ladder while you are on it by rocking, jogging or pushing it away from a
supporting wall.
3. Never use a ladder when under the influence of alcohol, on drugs or medication, or in ill health.
4. If you get sick, dizzy or panicky while on a ladder, do not try to climb down in a hurry. Wait.
Drape your arms around the rungs; rest your head against the ladder until you feel better. Then
climb down slowly and carefully.
5. Do not leave tools or materials on top of ladders; if they fall they can injure you or someone else.
6. Never push or pull anything sideways while on a ladder. This puts a side load on the ladder and
can cause it to tip out from under you.
7. Allow only one person at a time on a ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for two
people.
8. Never use a ladder as a horizontal platform, plank, scaffold or material hoist.
9. Be cautious about homemade ladders. Never use ladders made by fastening cleats across a single
narrow rail, post or pole.
10. Never use a ladder on a scaffold platform. If you need to reach higher, the scaffold should be
higher.
Additional Safety Rules for Stepladders
1. Never use a stepladder over 20 feet long.
2. Always open a stepladder completely and make sure the spreader is locked open before using
the ladder.
3. Never substitute makeshift devices of wire or rope for stepladder spreaders.
4. Do not stand higher than the second step from the top of a stepladder. Especially, do not stand
or sit on the top cap, or stand on the pail shelf, or on the back of a stepladder.
5. Do not straddle the front and back of a stepladder.
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Table Saw Safety
a. Wear eye protection.
b. Keep hands out of path of saw blade.
c. Do not operate saw without guards in place.
d. Do not perform any operation freehand.
e. Never reach around saw blade.
f.
Turn off tool and wait for saw blade to stop before moving material or changing settings.
g. Disconnect power (or unplug tool as applicable) before changing blade or servicing.
1. Wear safety glasses, goggles or a face shield at all times while using the saw.
2. If the cutting operation is dusty, wear a dust mask.
3. Do not wear gloves while operating a table saw.
4. Avoid long sleeves, ties, dangling jewelry or any other loose fitting clothing while operating a table
saw. The clothing could get caught in the blade.
5. Wear non-slip footwear.
6. Use a push stick to cut material that is 6 -8 “or less in width.
7. Use a stop block when you crosscut short lengths.
8. Position your body so that it is NOT in line with the blade. This is to avoid being injured by flying
sawdust, woodchips or the work.
9. The height of the blade should be set just slightly higher than the material being cut. It should never be
more than ¼” above the height of the material. This is to ensure that if your hand slips, any injuries would
be minor.
10. Always stand firmly on the floor and avoid any awkward operations. This is to avoid falling into the
blade by slipping or losing your balance.
11. Do not carry on a conversation while cutting. Pay attention to the work being performed.
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12. Do not reach behind or over the blade unless it has stopped turning.
13. Do not leave the saw until the blade has come to a complete stop.
14. Always disconnect the power prior to changing the blade or performing any other maintenance
operation.
15. Make sure that the blade has stopped turning before you adjust the table saw.
16. After any adjustment, make sure that the blade is free before you turn on the power.
17. Ensure that the guides are positioned properly and that the tabletop is smooth and polished. An
unclean or rough table requires you to use more force to push the stock through the blade. The more
force that you are required to use, the more likely you are to slip or lose your balance.
18. Maintain the rip fence parallel to the blade so the stock will not bind on the blade and be thrown.
19. Check the throat plate to ensure that it fits exactly and has a slot just slightly larger than the blade.
Never operate a table saw with the throat plate removed. (The throat plate is typically an oval shaped
access cover to the blade of the saw)
20. Do not make free-hand cuts on the table saw. The stock must be guided through the blade either by
the rip fence or the mitre gauge.
21. Keep the blades' guards, spreaders and anti-kickback devices in place and operating properly. The
spreader must be in alignment with the blade and the anti-kickback device must be in place and
operating properly. Their action must be checked before cutting. IT IS HABITAT’S POLICY THAT THIS
SAFETY DEVISE MUST BE ON THE SAW IN ORDER FOR IT TO BE IN USE.
22. Only seasoned, dry, flat wood should be cut.
23. Work should be released only when it has gone past the blade. Whenever the material is lifted or
tilted above the surface of the table, the saw can shake the material, causing you to lose your grip. Losing
your grip on a piece means that your hand can slip toward the saw blade or the material can be forcefully
kicked back towards you.
24. Check that the material has no nails, knots screw, stones etc. in it prior to cutting into the wood.
These items can become projectiles and cause injury and damage the saw.
25. Do not use the fence and a mitre gauge at the same time, unless they are both on the same side of
the fence.
26. A circular table saw should be guarded with a hood (crown guard) that completely covers the blade
projecting above the table. The guard should ride the thickness of the stock being cut, adjusting to the
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thickness of the stock. . IT IS HABITAT’S POLICY THAT THIS SAFETY DEVISE MUST BE ON THE SAW IN
ORDER FOR IT TO BE IN USE.
27. The fence must not be adjusted while the saw is running.
28. While long stock is sometimes crosscut on a table saw, it is not a good practice. The long stock may
interfere with other operations and may be a hazard to other workers or equipment. It is also difficult to
support and is better cut on a swing saw, pull saw or radial arm saw.
Safe Ripping Procedure

Wear safety glasses, goggles or a face shield at all times while using the saw.

If the cutting operation is dusty, wear a dust mask.

Do not wear gloves while operating a table saw.

Avoid long sleeves, ties, dangling jewelry or any other loose fitting clothing while operating a table
saw. The clothing could get caught in the blade.

Wear non-slip footwear.

Maintain the rip fence parallel to the blade so the stock will not bind on the blade and be thrown.

Cut material that is seasoned, dry and flat.

Release work only when it has been pushed completely past the blade.

When the width of the rip is 6 inches or wider, use your right hand to feed the work piece until it is
clear of the table. Only use the left hand to guide the work piece - do not feed the work piece with
the left hand.

When the width of the rip is less than 6 inches, the push stick cannot be used because the guard
will interfere. Use the auxiliary fence-work support and push block. Use the two C clamps to attach
the auxiliary work-fence support the rip fence.

When the width of the rip is 2 to 6 inches, use the push stick to feed the work.
Do not stand between the blade and fence.
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‘ Designates FEET
“Designates INCHES
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