Fleet Maintenance - A7


Get a hold on hand tool safety
Hand tools are just as much of a concern as any other
tool in the shop when it comes to safety.
by Kayla Oschmann, Assistant Editor


and tools continue to be vital
instruments for technicians.
From basic hand tools
(wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers,
ratchets) to specialty hand tools (oil
filter wrenches, wheel weight pliers,
O-ring removers, clip lifters), there are
hundreds available for technicians to
choose from and all are designed to
make their jobs easier.
As common as hand tools are in dayto-day jobs for technicians, they can still
pose hazards in a busy work environment.
As with any type of tool or piece of equipment, there is a need for safety awareness
and training. It is important to be aware
of potential hand tool dangers to prevent
incidents from happening and utilize best
practices to keep yourself - and everyone
else in the shop - safe.

There are two main causes for hand
tool accidents and injuries: using a tool

Photo from Assured Auto Works

incorrectly, and improper maintenance.
As straightforward as most hand tools
may seem, it is essential for technicians
to learn how to properly operate each one
before first using it on a job. According
to the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA), employees
should be trained in the proper use of
all tools, and hand tools are to be operated according to the manufacturer's
"We have been told as technicians
our entire career not to use a screwdriver
as a pry bar, yet a large percentage of
technicians do," says Brin Kline, owner
of Assured Auto Works in Melbourne,
Florida. "It's a no-no. The blade on the
screwdriver can chip and that can fly into
your eye or someone else's."
Unfortunately, there are many incidents where technicians use tools in
unsafe situations.
"Nobody wants to see anyone get
hurt," says Chuck Loparo, director of sales

and marketing at Midwest Tool, a hand
tool manufacturer. Loparo is also an active
member of the Hand Tool Institute (HTI),
a trade association comprised of members
from North American manufacturers of
non-powered hand tools. "A large part of
HTI's mission is that we want people to
use [hand] tools properly so there is a lot
less risk of injury."
Loparo shares three common scenarios in which he has experienced technicians using hand tools incorrectly.
* Adding extension to a tool to get
more leverage, such as putting a pipe
wrench on the end of a tool. This puts
the tool in a situation to fail, which
then can cause harm to the technician.
* Using any tool as a striking tool.
* Exposing a tool to heat, which then
damages the tool's durability. For
example, a technician uses a hand tool
as a method to hold an object when
using a torch to heat up seized bolts.
That exposure undoes the manufacturer's heat treating, causing the tool
to become brittle. The tool can then
shed and eventually break.
Repetitive use and damage to tools can
cause serious injury. When not properly
cared for, hand tools pose a hazard. Dull
knives, splinters in wooden handles, and
cracked tips are all examples that can
be easily addressed if tools are kept well
maintained and stored appropriately.

Safety is everyone's responsibility. It is up
to shop owners and technicians to work
together to establish best practices for
hand tool use within their shops. Creating an environment where safety is at the
forefront and is encouraged reduces the
risk of injuries, which then increases shop
productivity. It's a win-win for everyone.
Reminding technicians about common hand tool safety is a great start. Shop
owners can use visual reminders such as
posters, brochures, or videos around the
shop or in the break room, as well as discuss safety during staff meetings.
OSHA adds these reminders when it

February 2020 I Hand & Specialty Tools I 7


Fleet Maintenance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance

Vehicles: What's Next in Federal Vehicle Emissions Standards?
In the Bay: Technician Tool Support
Shop Operations: State of the Industry
Taking the Extra Step to Prevent Wheel-offs
Planning Ahead for Vehicle Cybersecurity Threats
Management: How Do You Know When to Replace a Vehicle?
Economic Outlook: Won't Get Fooled Again
Letter from the Editor: Real-world Views on Parts, Service, and Operations
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial: Moisture in Trailer Brakes is Not Just a Nuisance
Hand & Specialty Tools Supplement
Specialty Hand Tools: The Problem Solvers
Time to Multitask
Get a Hold on Hand Tool Safety
Electric Vehicle Tool Set
Tool Review
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - 8
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Vehicles: What's Next in Federal Vehicle Emissions Standards?
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - 18
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - 22
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - 24
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay: Technician Tool Support
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - 28
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations: State of the Industry
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - 34
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - 36
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - Taking the Extra Step to Prevent Wheel-offs
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - Planning Ahead for Vehicle Cybersecurity Threats
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - 42
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - Management: How Do You Know When to Replace a Vehicle?
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - Economic Outlook: Won't Get Fooled Again
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - Letter from the Editor: Real-world Views on Parts, Service, and Operations
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - 50
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 52
Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: Moisture in Trailer Brakes is Not Just a Nuisance
Fleet Maintenance - 55
Fleet Maintenance - 56
Fleet Maintenance - Hand & Specialty Tools Supplement
Fleet Maintenance - A2
Fleet Maintenance - Specialty Hand Tools: The Problem Solvers
Fleet Maintenance - A4
Fleet Maintenance - Time to Multitask
Fleet Maintenance - A6
Fleet Maintenance - Get a Hold on Hand Tool Safety
Fleet Maintenance - A8
Fleet Maintenance - Electric Vehicle Tool Set
Fleet Maintenance - Tool Review
Fleet Maintenance - A11
Fleet Maintenance - A12
Fleet Maintenance - Products
Fleet Maintenance - A14
Fleet Maintenance - A15
Fleet Maintenance - A16