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Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Hand and Power Tools


Hand Tools

The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that hand tools are maintained and stored properly. For more information see: 29CFR1910.242- 3 and American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice 54.

Location and Type

List each area of the rig to be inspected where hand tools are stored. For each type of tool follow the instructions below marking the form for: no damage, clean or rust/corrosion, stored properly, properly serviced.


The handles should be secure and show no signs of splitting or breaking. The hammer head should not be “mushroomed” or show signs of splitting that may cause splinters to break off during use. Damaged hammer heads should be replaced not repaired.

Do not attempt to trim up a mushroomed hammer head with a torch as this will affect the hardness of the metal and lead to more problems with splinters.

Welded on steel pipe handles should be avoided.

Hand Tools (Continued)

pipe wrench

Pipe Wrenches

Inspect all pipe wrenches for damage to the wrench body. Pipe wrenches may have been struck on the back of the head causing cracks or deformation.

The wrench jaws should move freely when the adjustment knob is turned. The jaw hook and heel teeth should be sharp and even.

The retainer pin for the heel should be installed properly as supplied by the manufacturer.

Steel handled wrenches should not show excessive damage or bending to the handle. Aluminum handled wrenches should not have signs of bending or deep gouges from a cheater pipe. This weakens the wrench and may cause it to fail under load.

Hand Tools (Continued)

striking wrench

Striking Wrenches

Examine the box end of the wrench to ensure there are no cracks or broken areas. Wrenches that have been broken should not be welded up, but should be replaced.

The striking area should not be mushroomed to the point that splinters or shards will break off when they are struck.

No home built attachments should be added to the wrench, as this may cause heat damage making the wrench more brittle and prone to breakage.

end wrench

End Wrenches

Wrenches should not be bent or otherwise deformed. Teeth on box end wrenches should be sharp and well defined.

Jaws on open end wrenches should not be bent or misaligned. End wrenches should not show signs of hammering on the handle as this causes sharp edges and weakens the handle.

Hand Tools (Continued)

Cutting Tools

Cutting tools should be kept sharp and stored where they do not present a hazard. A good supply of replacement blades should be available for knifes and saws.

Chain Tongs

Chain tongs are a type of pipe wrench used for hand-tightening various threaded connections around the rigsite. It consists of a handle, a set of gripping die teeth, a length of flat chain and a hooking slot where the chain may be adjusted to fit the pipe.

The jaw heads on chain wrenches should be sharp and clean. The retainer should be installed properly and the chain should be flexible and free from side load damage.

Severely bent handles or loose jaws would be reason to take the tongs out of service.

Shovels and Rakes

Wooden handled tools should be free from splinters or broken handles. Shovels should be clean of chemicals or mud that may cause injury to others.

Power Tools

power tools

We need to conduct this inspection to ensure power tools used around the rig are being maintained and stored properly. For more information see: 29CFR1910.241-244 and American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice 54.


List each area where power tools are located. Examine the area considering each issue below.


Electrical tools should have the equipment manufacture’s label clearly visible. Labeling should include manufacturer’s name, model #, voltage requirements, RPM, and warnings.

Inspect the cord where it attaches to the machine. There should be a solid attachment with reinforced strain relief where the wire attaches to the motor. The cord should be 3-pronged or the tool must be double insulated and clearly marked.

Grounded plugs should not have the third pin cut off.

Plugs and cords should be in good condition and free of cracks or breaks.

Fixed power tools should be mounted solidly and protected from accidental contact with the power switch.

Inspect triggers or switches to ensure that they function properly; they should not stick or remain on after release of the trigger. Power on buttons should release quickly once the trigger has been touched.

Power Tools (Continued)


  • Inspect guards and attachments on power tools to ensure they meet the manufacturers' requirements.
  • Check that guards are original and not be modified or otherwise changed contrary to the manufacturers design.
  • Check that handles are securely installed, and hand and trigger guards function properly.

Wear Parts

  • Check that wear parts (disks, grinding stones, blades, and bits) are checked if appropriate for the machine, including RPM rating, belt speed, diameter, and other sizing elements required for safe operation.
  • Make sure workers never use parts that are not specifically recommended for the power tool you are using.
  • Ensure attachment mechanisms are not changed from one tool to another.
  • Make sure that workers always use the proper size nut, backer plate, or drive wheel recommended by the original equipment manufacturer.

Power Tools (Continued)

tool case


Power tools should be stored in their original cases if available. Tools should be kept away from moisture and chemicals that could damage motors and plastic parts.

Tools should not be stacked on shelves where employees may have trouble lifting and sorting the tools.

Air Tools

Air tools should be inspected prior to each use and each month. Air tools must be kept oiled and in a dry place to prevent rust. Insure that there is a good supply of whip checks for each air hose connection.

air compressor

Each tool should be clearly labeled with the manufactures information. In addition, the components attached to the air tool should be properly labeled and compatible with the tool.

Impact wrenches should be equipped with the proper impact type sockets.

Special care should be taken to ensure that grinding disks and stones are rated for the very high RPM developed by air tools.


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. When inspecting hand tools, make sure to check all of the following, except _____.

2. When inspecting electrical plugs make sure that grounded plugs do not have _____.

3. When inspecting air tools on a rig, special care should be taken to ensure that grinding disks and stones are rated for ____.

4. When inspecting tools, ensure hammer heads are not _____or show signs of splitting that may cause splinters to break off during use.

5. Power tools should be stored in their _____.

Have a great day!

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