APS Guideline for Hand Tool and Portable Power Tool Usage

Introduction

CAT/XSD recognizes that the misuse and improper maintenance of hand tools and portable power tools cause a significant number of injuries to even "experienced" workers. Consequently, CAT/XSD has adopted the following policies and procedures to minimize the hazards associated with the use of such equipment at the APS.

These guidelines apply to all use of hand tools and portable power tools by CAT/XSD personnel while performing maintenance or installation activities at the APS. Although CAT/XSD feels that most of the guidelines also apply to tool usage during experimental activities, CAT/XSD will not require that short-term users complete the training described below.

Using Tools Safely

  • If you have not had formal training in the use of common tools, either view the video Hand Power Tool Safety, which is available from the Office of the XFD ES&H Coordinator, or attend ANL ESH141 training. CAT/XSD supervisors or other capable persons designated by supervisors will also demonstrate correct tool usage during on-the-job training. [APS can provide additional information adaptable to most training needs for air-powered tools.]

  • Plan each job well in advance and ensure that the proper tools are available; give consideration to special tools that would provide for greater efficiency and safety.

  • Use proper personal protective equipment.

  • Store tools in appropriate storage facilities when not in use.

  • Inspect all portable power tools upon receipt and at least semi-annually thereafter using the criteria given in Table 1. If a tool is defective, remove it from service immediately and repair or discard it. If it passes the inspection and tests, label it with the inspection date [as indicated in Table 2 ] [with commercially available foil labels designed for this purpose].

  • Never use a tool that has an out-of-date inspection code without first inspecting it as indicated in Table 1.

  • Power tools must be either three-wire grounded or double-insulated and listed by Underwriters’ Laboratories or another recognized listing agency.

  • Always plug cord-connected, hand-held electric tools into GFCI-protected receptacles.

  • Portable electric tools used in the vicinity of sinks and wet environments must comply with the grounding requirements of Title 29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart S, and they must be powered from a GFCI-protected circuit.

 

TABLE 1. Power Tool Inspection/Testing Criteria and Inspection Frequency
 

 

Criteria for Removing a Tool from Service

Inspection Frequency

Before and During Use

Semi-Annual Testing and Inspection

Cracking, chafing, wear, or other signs of faulty power cord insulation

X

X

Evidence of faulty grounding conductor

X

X

Excessive resistance between tool case and ground connector prong  

X

Cracked plug or receptacle housing

X

X

Bent or missing plug or connector prongs

X

X

Dead front plug, receptacle, or connector

X

X

Missing, bent, or otherwise abused switch

X

X

Improperly functioning trigger lock on switch

X

X

Out-of-date semi-annual inspection tape (tag)

X

X

Signs of overheating or excessive sparking

X

X

Insulation resistance (get meter from XFD ES&H Coordinator)  

X

Dull, chipped, or broken blades

X

X

Malfunctioning guards

X

X

 

 

TABLE 2. Color Code Schedule for Portable Power Tools, Indicating Date of Most Recent Inspection and Test
Months

Year

Tape Color

January through June

1995

Black

July through December

1995

Blue

January through June

1996

Red

July through December

1996

Green

January through June

1997

Orange

July through December

1997

White

 

 

References

  • The primary references for this set of guidelines are the 10th Edition of the National Safety Council’s Accident Prevention Manual and the ANL ESH Manual.

Reviewed and Updated: January 10, 2011