We’ve all done it at least once, working on something on site, perhaps even at a height only to realise you do not have the right tool to complete the task. But what you do have is a similar tool which can be adapted to complete the job. This is a mistake we’ve all made and we may have even gotten away with it but in some situations this mere act of improvisation can prove extremely dangerous.
For example when conducting concrete drilling or cutting if the wrong bit is used it can snap off, not only damaging the equipment but possibly hitting into the worker or others nearby, maybe injuring someone in the process.
The first step in safety when using tools and equipment, is to use the right tool for the job. But in addition to safety there are other reasons to ensure you choose the correct tool. For example ensuring you use the right tool will reduce the amount of effort you need to get a job done and ensure that you do not cause unnecessary damage to work surfaces and equipment.
Work on construction sites is hazardous enough without adding to the risks by using the wrong tools for the job or using the right tools in the wrong way. Choose the right tool for a specific job and never use a tool not designed for the job you are doing.Never improvise or adapt if you are missing a tool or piece of equipment.
Remember tools are designed for specific needs and purposes. For example you’ll find screwdrivers with various lengths and tip styles and pliers with different head shapes. Using any tool inappropriately is wrong and just plain dangerous. To avoid personal injury and tool damage, select the proper tool to do the job well and safely.
Also keep in mind that tools and equipment are expensive. Quality professional hand tools will last many years if they are taken care of and treated with respect however manufacturers design tools for specific applications. So when you use your screwdriver as a chisel or vice versa you shouldn’t expect to prolong the lifespan of your valuable tools, another reason why tools should only be used for their intended purpose. Whether you are attempting to save time or are just negligent, using the wrong tool for the job is a mistake.
WorkSafe Victoria had this to say about using the right tool for the job on their website:
Too often, injuries occur because corners are cut. Tradies use the wrong tools and equipment for the job or simply ignore the manufacturer’s instructions – causing avoidable injuries.
Tools and equipment such as ladders, scaffolds, nail guns, saws and grinders can cause injuries, when used the wrong way or for the wrong purpose.
Make sure you’re using the right tools for the job
WorkSafe Vic goes on to provide advice for tradies in the building field including carpenters, plumbers, concreters etc. about how to choose the right tools. Visit http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/your-industry/construction/how-to-comply/back-to-basics/using-the-right-tools-for-the-job for more information.