Do’s & Dont’s

Select the right tool for the job. Tools that aren’t made for the exact job you are doing could lead to accidents. They are also more likely to become damaged when used incorrectly – for example, your wrench may be heavy enough to be used as a hammer, but it is not designed for this purpose and you may damage your tools, what you are working on, or yourself.


Inspect your tools. Before going ahead with any project, make sure all your tools are in good working condition. Check for any damage or defect – if you aren’t sure, rather play it safe and repair or replace your tool.


Always choose high-quality hand tools. Poor quality tools may break while you’re using them, leading to a higher chance of injuring yourself and destroying or damaging the project you’re working on. A good quality tool will not only last longer, it will perform better, giving you the best chance at perfecting every job you work on.


Properly train all employees in the safe use of hand tools. If you’re running a workshop, make sure all your employees are trained to use the tools they will be working with. Training should include how to choose the right tool for the job, how to use each tool safely and correctly, and how to identify tools that are in need of repair.


Look after your tools. Maintain your tools carefully by ensuring that they are properly cleaned after each use. Store your tools in a dry, safe area, and organise them properly to avoid dents, scratches and other incidental damage.


Don’t use an unfamiliar tool without learning how to use it properly. While you might see a tool and think you can intuitively figure out how it works, misusing a tool can be seriously dangerous. Make sure the tool you are using has been specifically designed for your intended use before going ahead, and learn as much as you can about the correct way to use the tool.


Don’t leave your tools lying around the workshop. Some hand tools pose a danger all by themselves, such as saws and crowbars, and should be carefully stored after use. A cluttered floor may lead to accidental falls, a major hazard in a workshop environment. Furthermore, tools left out of their intended storage tend to corrode faster, as they are exposed to air and moisture.


Don’t leave tools on elevated shelves or structures. Leaving your tool on a scaffold, work station or another elevated structure that may be bumped could cause them to fall. This will not only damage your tool, but can pose a threat to anyone below the structure.


Don’t modify or alter your tools. Don’t remove or alter any of them, even if you don’t think the danger applies to you – all the guards and safety devices are there for a reason. You should also avoid painting or covering your tools, as this could lead to chips and cracks on your tool going unnoticed.


Don’t try and repair your tools yourself. There are a wide range of shops and technicians who specialise in tool repair. These experts have acquired knowledge that you may not be aware of, and will avoid the mistakes you are likely to make, while pre-emptively preventing further damage to your tool.

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