OSHA Standard: 1926.300 – Subpart I – Tools – Hand & Power
Training: Training should be performed upon initial assignment/before use of tool.
Frequency: When roles, conditions, or equipment changes. Or when worker is using the equipment in an unsafe manner.
Powder-actuated tools 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. 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.
To prevent the tool from firing accidentally, two separate motions are required for firing. The first motion is to bring the tool into the firing position, and the second motion is to 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:
When using powder-actuated tools to apply fasteners, several additional procedures must be followed:
Take Home Points:
Both employer and employee have responsibility in ensuring safety while operating hand tools. Ensure that the tool is maintained and inspected, use the right tool for the right job, follow manufacturers’ guidelines, ensure the workplace is safe for use of the tool, and wear the appropriate PPE.