SAFETY SERIES – 4
Portable Electric Hand Tools and Lights
Electric shock is the chief potential hazard from electrically powered tools. Therefore, when using such tools, make sure they are grounded at all times.
Safe working instructions for these tools are briefed below.
- The insulation on electric cords must not be broken, cracked, missing or damaged.
- Never tamper with or remove three-prong grounding plugs or pins. This eliminates the grounding protection. When grounded outlets are not available – as may be found in older buildings – adapter plugs shall be used with the green grounding wire secured to a positive ground.
- Double insulated tools with two-prong plugs or pins can be used instead of tools with three pin plugs, if they are distinctively marked with words “Double insulated”.
- When using extension cords, make sure the cord is plugged into a grounded outlet of correct voltage and the cord is capable of carrying the expected load.
- Flexible cords must be used in continuous lengths without splice or tape.
- Electric cords must not be run through the holes in walls, ceilings or floors. If run through doorways, windows, or similar openings, they must be protected from damage.
- Never use defective power tools or cord sets. When repairs cannot be made immediately, the tool must always be removed from service. As an additional precaution against unintended use, cut off the plug end when removing from service.
- Portable lights shall be equipped with guards to prevent accidental contact with the bulb. Unless guards and handles are properly grounded, they must be made from non-conductive materials.
- Portable lights must not be suspended by their electric cords, unless cords and lights are designed for this means of suspension.
- Work areas, walkways and similar locations shall be kept clear of all cords so as not to create a hazard to employees or subject cords to damage.
- Do not lift or lower portable electric tools by the power cord. Never throw tools, equipment or material from one work level to another.
- Keep all cords coiled when not in use. To prevent cord damage do not wrap cords tightly around tools.
- Disconnect power when adjusting the tool, brushing away chips, cleaning the tool etc.
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