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Course 810 - Hand and Power Tool Safety

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Fuel-Powered, Hydraulic, and Powder-Actuated Tools

Chainsaw Safety- WorkSafeBC

Fuel-Powered Tools

Fuel-powered tools are usually operated with gasoline. The most serious hazard associated with the use of fuel-powered tools comes from fuel vapors that can burn or explode and also give off dangerous exhaust fumes.

The worker must be careful to handle, transport, and store gas or fuel only in approved flammable liquid containers, according to proper procedures for flammable liquids.

Be sure to follow all of these precautions when working with fuel-powered tools:

  • Before refilling a fuel-powered tool tank, the user must shut down the engine and allow it to cool to prevent accidental ignition of hazardous vapors.
  • When a fuel-powered tool is used inside a closed area, effective ventilation and/or proper respirators such as atmosphere-supplying respirators must be utilized to avoid breathing carbon monoxide.
  • Fire extinguishers must also be available in the area.

Hydraulic Power Tools

power tools

The fluid used in hydraulic power tools must be an approved fire-resistant fluid and must retain its operating characteristics at the most extreme temperatures to which it will be exposed.

The exception to fire-resistant fluid involves all hydraulic fluids used for the insulated sections of derrick trucks, aerial lifts, and hydraulic tools that are used on or around energized lines. This hydraulic fluid must be of the insulating type.

The manufacturer’s recommended safe operating pressure for hoses, valves, pipes, filters, and other fittings must not be exceeded.

Jacks

jack

All jacks including lever and ratchet jacks, screw jacks, and hydraulic jacks must have a stop indicator, and the stop limit must not be exceeded. Also, the manufacturer’s load limit must be permanently marked in a prominent place on the jack, and the load limit must not be exceeded.

A jack should never be used to support a lifted load. Once the load has been lifted, it must immediately be blocked up. Put a block under the base of the jack when the foundation is not firm, and place a block between the jack cap and load if the cap might slip.

To set up a jack, make certain of the following:

  • The base of the jack must rest on a firm, level surface.
  • The jack must be correctly centered.
  • The jack head must bear against a level surface.
  • The lift force must be applied evenly.

Proper maintenance of jacks is essential for safety. All jacks must regularly be lubricated. In addition, each jack must be inspected according to the following schedule:

  • When jacks are used continuously or intermittently at one site, they should be inspected at least once every six months.
  • When jacks are sent out of the shop for special work, they should be inspected when sent out and inspected when returned.
  • When jacks are subjected to abnormal loads or shocks, they should be inspected before use and immediately thereafter.

Powder-Actuated Tools

Powder-actuated tools, like “Hilti guns” or “Ramset guns”, operate like a loaded gun and must be treated with extreme caution. In fact, they are so dangerous that they must be operated only by specially trained employees.

Powder-actuated fastening tools must be tested each day before loading to ensure that the safety devices are in proper working condition. Any tool found not to be in proper working order must be immediately removed from service until repairs are made.

When using powder-actuated tools, an employee must wear suitable ear, eye, and face protection. The user must select a powder level—high or low velocity—that is appropriate for the powder-actuated tool and necessary to do the work without excessive force.

The muzzle end of the tool must have a protective shield or guard centered perpendicular to and concentric with the barrel to confine any fragments or particles that are projected when the tool is fired. A tool containing a high-velocity load must be designed not to fire unless it has this kind of safety device.

Powder-Actuated Tools (Continued)

tools

To prevent the tool from firing accidentally, three separate motions should be used for firing:

  1. Bring the tool to the firing position
  2. Press it against the target surface (wall).
  3. Pull the trigger.

The tool must not be able to operate until it is pressed against the work surface with a force of at least 5 pounds (2.2 kg) greater than the total weight of the tool.

If a powder-actuated tool misfires, the user must hold the tool in the operating position for at least 30 seconds before trying to fire it again. If it still will not fire, the user must hold the tool in the operating position for another 30 seconds and then carefully remove the load in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. This procedure will make the faulty cartridge less likely to explode. The bad cartridge should then be put in water immediately after removal. If the tool develops a defect during use, it should be tagged and must be taken out of service immediately until it is properly repaired.

Safety precautions that must be followed when using powder-actuated tools include the following:

  • Do not use a tool in an explosive or flammable atmosphere.
  • Inspect the tool before using it to determine that it is clean, that all moving parts operate freely, and that the barrel is free from obstructions and has the proper shield, guard, and attachments recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Do not load the tool unless it is to be used immediately.
  • When a tool develops a defect during use, immediately cease to use it and notify the supervisor.
  • Do not leave a loaded tool unattended, especially where it would be available to unauthorized persons.
  • Keep hands clear of the barrel end.
  • Never point the tool at anyone.

Powder-Actuated Tools (Continued)

Safety precautions that must be followed when using powder-actuated tools include the following:

  • Do not use a tool in an explosive or flammable atmosphere.
  • Inspect the tool before using it to determine that it is clean, that all moving parts operate freely, and that the barrel is free from obstructions and has the proper shield, guard, and attachments recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Do not load the tool unless it is to be used immediately.
  • When a tool develops a defect during use, immediately cease to use it and notify the supervisor.
  • Do not leave a loaded tool unattended, especially where it would be available to unauthorized persons.
  • Keep hands clear of the barrel end.
  • Never point the tool at anyone.

When using powder-actuated tools to apply fasteners, several additional procedures must be followed:

  • Do not fire fasteners into soft materials unless such materials are backed by a substance that will prevent the pin or fastener from passing completely through and creating a flying missile hazard on the opposite side.
  • Do not drive fasteners into very hard or brittle materials such as cast iron, glazed tile, surface-hardened steel, glass block, live rock, face brick or hollow title.
  • Always use an alignment guide when shooting fasteners into existing holes.
  • Do not drive a fastener into a spalled area caused by an unsatisfactory fastening.
  • When using a high-velocity tool, do not drive fasteners more than 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) from an unsupported edge or corner of material such as brick or concrete.
  • When using a high-velocity tool, do not place fasteners in steel any closer than 1/2-inch (1.27 centimeters) from an unsupported corner edge unless a special guard, fixture, or jig is used.

Check out this great Ramset Powder Actuated Tool Licensing course.

Instructions

Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. The most serious hazard associated with the use of fuel-powered tools comes from _____.

2. Which of the following is a requirement for the fluid operating hydraulic power tools?

3. What is the next step once a load has been lifted using a hydraulic jack?

4. A powder-actuated tool must not be able to operate until _____.

5. If a powder-actuated tool misfires, the user must hold the tool in the operating position for _____ before trying to fire it again.


Have a safe day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.