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Hand tools come in handy for all kinds of domestic and workplace chores, whether it be a simple task of opening a can of soup, loosening a rusty screw, hammering a stubborn nail into place or filing off a rough edge of some newly fabricated machine part. Used properly and safely, they're a delight as they help make light of most chores or applications. But misused or abused, they can spell trouble for the user.

Using a screw driver as a lever or chisel or a spanner as hammer or a pair of pliers as a spanner can lead to serious injuries. So also can using worn tools such as mushroomed hammers, chisels or blunt ended screw drivers and bent flat or ringed spanners. It is important for hand tool users to recognize the limitations of particular tools by selecting the right tool for the job. Misapplication is an unsafe act which is better avoided.

With training on proper handling and use of hand tools, the potential for accidents and injuries can be reduced significantly right at the onset. Training helps user appreciation of hidden dangers in the misuse and abuse of hand tools, especially the powered types like portable drills, etc. Good housekeeping, maintenance, inspection, storage and preservation tips are some of the benefits of a hand tools training scheme.

A successful hand tool accidents and injury prevention programme should lean heavily on knowledge, awareness and proper handling techniques on-the-job, otherwise the desired results may prove elusive. Adequate supervision of apprentices and other trainee cadre, mentoring and coaching of junior employees by supervisors and foremen can help focus such a programme on the right track to the desired short and long term goals.

Home use of hand tools requires an even more painstaking attention to assure safety. Users should therefore pay particular attention to the manufacturer's instructions before deploying a tool to use. It may be unsafe to plough on ahead regardless. Remember safety is earned, not procured.


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