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Hand Tools Toolbox Talk

In this toolbox talk, learn the best safety practices for using hand tools in construction and how to complete your own hand tool inspections.

Hand Tools Safety Talk

Hand tools are a common piece of equipment that is needed on construction sites of all kinds. Even at home, hand tool use is very common for many different kinds of jobs that are needed. There are many records that can be found on the dangers that can occur when using hand tools.

A lot of the time, the hand injuries or bodily injuries that are endured are due to improper use or neglecting to follow instructions that were given. Some of the most simple and straightforward hand tools can cause harm when used incorrectly. It is important to also make sure hand tools are inspected regularly for repairs, malfunctions, or any other problems they may have. In this toolbox talk, we will go over all the basic hand tools that may be used in construction, how to inspect them, and best safety practices.

Common Hand Tools

There are many tools aside from power tools that are used every day in construction sites and at home. Some of the most commonly used hand tools are, but not limited to:

  • Hammers

  • Chisels

  • Wrenches

  • Screwdrivers

Hand Tool Inspections

Regular tool inspections are ideal to prevent unnecessary injuries and accidents on the job. If you notice a tool in some way is malfunctioning or broken, it should be properly noted. That way someone else doesn’t try to use it and get hurt. Hand tools that need inspection and how to do it are listed below.


It may seem like it is impossible to get hurt using a screwdriver, however this is very untrue. There have been many instances of people getting hurt using this tool. The most common ways for injuries to occur are when screwdrivers are being used improperly and not for their intended use.

Some things to check for:

  • Handle is not hipped

  • Handle is not broken

  • Check the head for damage

  • Check if the head is worn down

If any of these things are occurring with it, you should replace your screwdriver with a new one. Using one with any of these problems could lead to an injury.


A chisel is commonly used for many reasons when it comes to projects and construction. With any tool, over time chisels begin to break down and wear out from repetitive use. A common problem that presents itself with a chisel is that it will begin to "mushroom," or become so deformed with use that the head spreads and resembles a mushroom.

It is important to stop using it at that point and repair it. If you cannot repair the chisel you should replace it. Ensuring that you are using tools in the safest way possible can help to eliminate injuries.


When you are using a wrench, you need it to properly hold on to the bolt that you are tightening. If that can not be done it can slip and cause you to hurt yourself or do damage to what you are working on.

You can properly inspect the wrench and check for damage or malfunctions before use to prevent this from happening.

  • Make sure it isn’t bent anywhere

  • Check for chips

  • Check for broken parts

  • Replace it when it is worn out


Hammers are probably one of the most commonly used tools on a construction site and in the home. It is important to always inspect your hammer before you begin hammering to avoid an accident from happening.

Some things that you should check are:

  • Make sure the handle isn’t chipped, broken, or loose

  • Never use a hammer that has been taped back together

  • Check that the claw of the hammer is in tact

If any of these things are wrong with your hammer, it is best to replace the hammer to be safe.

hand tools on the construction site.

Best Safety Practices For Hand Tools

It is important to know hand tools best safety practices if you're going to use them regularly. Having a general idea of the safest way to use them, when to throw them out, and how they are supposed to be used is vital to your career. Here are some of the best practices to remember when you are working with hand tools:

  • Use the tools as they are intended to be used. Never make modifications to use them for other purposes than originally designed for.

  • Always keep your tools clean and put away. When your tools are dirty, you take a risk of injury or damage to things. A clean and tidy work area, including tools, is much easier to work around.

  • Have designated and proper storage available for all tools. Having them up and out of the way can help to avoid injuries or problems. They take the chance of being lost, stolen, or damaged when left out.

First Aid Certifications

When you work in an area that may result in someone being hurt, injured, or need emergency medical attention it is a good idea to be first aid certified. Having first aid training a must on the job.

It is usually a fairly simple course to take, that can be done in one afternoon. You will learn simple things that they can do to help until emergency personnel arrives and can take over. Some of these things are:

  • How to help stop bleeding

  • What to do when someone is in shock

  • How to help someone who passed out

  • How to perform CPR

  • What to do when someone is unresponsive

  • How to help when someone is choking

  • How to help with a burn

  • What to do if someone is poisoned

  • How to use an epipen

Another important step is that everyone should know who to call when an emergency situation arises. Knowing whether a manager or supervisor be called first is important? That way there is very little confusion of the steps that should be taken when something happens. Plus, the location of the AED and first aid kit should be made known and where it is easily reached.

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