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Hand Safety Awareness: Part 1
Do you know what the most used tool in construction is?
Some common answers you might think of are hand tools such as a hammer, a pair of pliers, or a screwdriver. Other options include power tools like hand drills or angle grinders.
Actually, the most used tool in almost any job site is the human hand.
Common Causes of Hand Injuries working with machinery or equipment; the construction materials being used; the inherently hazards of construction tasks; and improper use of, or faulty hand tools and powered hand tools However, carelessness, and failure to follow safety procedures are still cited as the most common causes of hand injuries
How to Avoid Hand Injuries
Check for pinch points on machinery, which are found between: moving parts or objects; and stationary parts or objects.
Be aware of hot surfaces, areas, and tools that might cause burns upon contact.
Be aware of rotating or moving surfaces such as drills, saw blades, and conveyors.
Watch out for machinery that are controlled remotely, or ones that are activated via delayed timing devices as they may start up unexpectedly.
Loose clothing and jewellery may get caught in moving machinery, which can cause serious injuries. When using power tools, even jewellery such as rings should be removed.
Never remove machine safety guards, and do not operate machinery with safeguards removed.
What are the things you need to be aware of to protect your hands for construction work hazards? Select all correct answers
Lesson 2: Gloves, Hand Tools, and other PPEs
The most commonly used personal protective equipment (PPE) in construction are gloves.
Generally, gloves are meant to protect your hands and fingers, but some are also designed to safeguard your wrists and forearms.
Aside from the standard canvas work gloves, there are also specialized gloves used in specific industries and tasks.
What are gloves for? Select all correct answers
You need to make sure that you're wearing gloves of the right size. Too small and your hands will hurt and lack adequate protection. Too large and they become awkward to work with; not to mention the risk of getting the slack caught in machinery which can result in serious injuries.
If the insides of your gloves have become contaminated with harmful chemicals, or if it's visibly damaged to the point where hand safety is compromised, they should be thrown out and replaced with a fresh set.
Important Reminders Make sure to get adequate rest prior to reporting for work, so you can stay vigilant and alert during your shift Do not operate tools or machinery that you have not received training or authorization on Inspect tools and/or machinery prior to using them to make sure they are not faulty Make sure that power is locked out of machines before attempting any repair or maintenance work Always wear the appropriate PPE Never put your hands in the Danger Zone.
Lesson 3: Proper Use of Hand Tools
Safety doesn't rely solely on good safety equipment. Knowing HOW to use tools properly is just as important.
In this lesson, we'll be going over the proper use of hand tools in order to maximize at-work safety.
Safe and Proper Use of Hammers
As you grip the handle tightly, make sure your wrist is straight. Striking an object with a bent wrist can result in sprains or worse injuries.
The face of the hammer needs to be at least 1 inch larger than the surface being struck e.g. head of the nail. This prevents you from striking any unintended targets e.g. your own fingers, if you miss your mark.
Finally, do your best to strike the target with the center of the hammer face using adequate force. Fewer strikes means lower chances of accidents and injuries.
For safety reasons, what are the things you should do before using hand tools? Select all correct answers
Lesson 4: Proper Use of Hand Tools (Continued)
Safe and Proper Use of Power Tools Never change bits and blades while the power tool is connected to a power source. Make sure it's disconnected from power, and not just switched off. Make sure you're wearing the gloves of the right size, since ones that are too large can get caught in rotating and moving parts Never ever remove guards! They're there for a good reason Always secure objects you're working on against a flat surface, or a vice. Never hold it in your hand! Unless the power tools are double insulated, make sure to ground them Wear the right-sized anti-vibration gloves if you're using power tools for prolonged periods
Safe and Proper Use of Bench Grinders
Never ever remove guards! Always use vice grips if you're grinding small objects/items to ensure security
Ensure that tool rest and tongue guards have proper clearance against the wheel: Tongue guard should be within 1/4" of the wheel Tool rest should be within 1/8" of the wheel
Lesson 5: Hand Injuries and First Aid
As the most used tool in construction, it's no surprise that hand injuries happen all the time...
... except, they don't have to.
By being careful, and staying knowledgable about the best safety practices, we can lower the risk of hand injuries.
Types of Hand Injuries
Cuts, Punctures, and Lacerations Deep cuts, punctures, and lacerations have the potential to sever muscle, tendons, and nerves, all of which are essential to the proper functionality of our hands. If left untreated, these wounds may also get infected
Fractures Usually resulting from blunt force trauma, fractures can also damage nearby tissue, making it particularly difficult to repair
Amputations While traumatic amputations can be re-attached most times, being vigilant to avoid the need is still the best route to take
Dermatitis and Burns Skin irritations happen via direct contact with harmful and corrosive chemicals, as well as extremely hot or cold objects/surfaces Reactions may appear immediately, or show up over time after consistent contact with irritants
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome A condition that affects people from myriad occupations, this happens due to the prolonged repetition of a specific motion. Symptoms include numbness, pain, tingling, and swelling in the hands or fingers