Hand and Portable Power Tools: What you need to know

Every employer is responsible for the safe condition of portable power tools and other hand-held equipment used by employees, including tools and equipment furnished by employees.

29 CFR 1910.241
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Hand tool. Hand tools are nonpowered or operate only through physical exertion by hand. They include anything from axes to wrenches.

Portable power tool. Power tools, both mounted and portable, are tools that require a power source to operate. There are several types of portable power tools, based on the power source they use: electric, pneumatic, liquid fuel, hydraulic, explosive-actuated, and powder-actuated.

Examples of regulated portable power tools are portable abrasive wheels and grinders, lawn mowers, powered drills, portable circular saws, portable belt sanding machines, explosive-actuated fastening tools, jacks, and abrasive blast cleaning nozzles.

Operation of Power Tools
29 CFR 1910.242

Employers must ensure that employees use hand and portable power tools and equipment that are in safe condition, including tools supplied by employees.

Compressed Air
29 CFR 1910.242

Compressed air must not be used for cleaning purposes except where reduced to less than 30 pounds per square inch, and then only with effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment.

Guards for Portable Power Tools
29 CFR 1910.243

Most portable power tools must be guarded to prevent injury to the user. For example, all portable power-driven circular saws with a diameter greater than 2 inches must be equipped with guards above and below the base plate or shoe. Guards must always be maintained in the operating position. The rule contains guard specifications and other protective devices for circular ...

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