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Preventing construction accidents with proper hand tool use

Information we report on Texas construction accidents tends to revolve around equipment failures and other large safety accidents. But for the individual construction worker, a devastating accident doesn't always require a large piece of machinery. A simple hand tool can cause a serious injury to a person, especially if workers on a construction site aren't following some basis hand tool safety.

A first basic rule when using hand tools, such as hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches, is to use the tool that is meant for the job. Hammering in a nail with the business end of a large wrench not only causes safety concerns, but it can also reduce the quality of the work. Take time to ensure you are using the proper equipment, and report lack of appropriate tools to supervisors when applicable.

Next, use all tools as they are meant to be used. Don't force-fit a wrench to try to tighten a bolt. Improper fit of a wrench or screwdriver means you have to put more force into the work, which can lead to slipping, falling, hitting someone else or pulling a muscle. All of that can happen, and you are likely to not tighten the bolt or screw correctly anyway.

Make sure tools are in good repair. Tools that are attached to separate handles can cause safety issues if the attachment is lose, because either the handle or the tool piece can fly off during use, striking you or another person. Such an injury can range from minor to major, especially if the tool piece strikes a person's face or eyes.

Working together to ensure safety on a construction site is important. But even workers who follow all safety guidelines can be put at risk by others, by employers or by the general nature of construction zones. If you have experienced a construction work injury and need assistance seeking compensation through workers' comp claims or other legal methods, a law professional can help.

Source: Seattle University, "Tools, Equipment, and Construction Safety," accessed Feb. 12, 2016

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