No matter how small the job, safety must be practiced at all times. A tool may be efficient, essential, time-saving or even convenient; but it is also dangerous. When using any hand tool you must use it correctly, following the methods prescribed in this manual. You must also be alert for any conditions that might endanger yourself or fellow workers. Take the time necessary to acquaint yourself with the safety guidelines in this unit. Remember, you are the most important part of safety procedures.

When you have completed this unit, you will be able to do the following:

  1. State the general safety procedures for common hand tools.
  2. Identify good tool work habits.
  3. List the types of tool boxes.
  4. List the safety precautions that apply to power tools.
  5. Identify the types of personal protective equipment.

Major sections of this unit


There will undoubtedly be a safety program to follow for the shop or area in which you will be working. The following general safety rules are furnished as a guide.


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“A place for everything and everything in its place” is just common sense. You cannot do an efficient, fast repair job if you have to stop and look around for each tool that you need. The following rules, if applied, will make your job easier.

Keep Each Tool in Its Proper Storage Place

 A tool is useless if you cannot find it when you need it. If you return each tool to its proper place, you will know where it is when you need it. Keep Your Tools in Good Condition Keep them free of rust, nicks, burrs, and breaks. Keep Your Tool Set Complete When have been issued a toolbox, make sure each tool remains inside the box when not in use. When the toolbox is not actually at the worksite, it should be locked and stored in a designated area.

Improper tool storage

Keep Your Tools in Good Condition

Keep them free of rust, nicks, burrs, and breaks.

Keep Your Tool Set Complete

When have been issued a toolbox, make sure each tool remains inside the box when not in use. When the toolbox is not actually at the worksite, it should be locked and stored in a designated area.


An inventory list is kept in every toolbox to be checked before and after each job or maintenance action, to ensure that all tools are available to do your work and to ensure that they are accounted for after you have completed your work.

Use Each Tool Only on the Job for Which It Was Designed

If you use the wrong tool to make an adjustment, the result will probably be unsatisfactory. For example, if you use a socket wrench that is too big, you will round off the corners of the wrench or nut. If this rounded wrench or nut is not replaced immediately, the safety of your equipment may be endangered in an emergency.

Keep Your Tools Within Easy Reach and Where They Cannot Fall on the Floor or on Machinery

Avoid placing tools anywhere above machinery or electrical apparatus. Serious damage will result if the tool falls into the machinery after the equipment is turned on or running.

Keep tools within reach.

Never Use Damaged Tools

Notify your supervisor of broken or damaged tools. A battered screwdriver may slip and spoil the screw slot or cause painful injury to the user. A gage stretched out of shape will result in inaccurate measurements.

Remember, a worker’s efficiency is often a direct result of the condition of the tools being used. Workers are often judged by the manner in which they handle and care for their tools. You should care for hand tools the same way you care for personal property. Always keep hand tools clean and free from dirt, grease, and foreign matter. After use, return tools promptly to their proper places in the tool box. Improve your own efficiency by organizing your tools so that those used most frequently can be reached easily without sorting through the entire contents of the box. Avoid accumulating unnecessary items.


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Tool boxes are used for storing tools. They are usually made of steel but sometimes of wood or plastic. Portable tool boxes are used for carrying and storing a variety of hand tools. Both special and common tools, such as mechanic’s, electrician, and carpentry tools can be found in tool boxes. Chest-type tool boxes generally contain larger tools, such as specialized automotive tools or machinist’s tools, requiring a more permanent location. Some larger tool boxes are mounted on wheels so they can move easily from place to place. Tool bags are usually made of canvas. Like the boxes, they are available in a variety of sizes and serve similar functions.


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Safety is a very important factor in the use of power tools and cannot be overemphasized. By observing the following safety guidelines, you can ensure maximum benefits from the tools you use and reduce to a minimum the chances of serious injury.


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Safety equipment is for you. It will protect you from injury and may possibly save your life. Some of the more common types of safety equipment for your personal protection follow.

Safety Shoes

Safety shoes protect feet and prevent injury or loss of toes. Some safety shoes are designed to limit damage to your toes from falling objects. A steel plate is placed in the toe area of such shoes so that your toes are not crushed if an object falls on them. Other safety shoes are designed for use where danger from sparking could cause an explosion. Such danger is minimized by elimination of all metallic nails and eyelets and the use of soles which do not cause static electricity.

Eye Protection

Proper eye protection is of the highest importance for all personnel. Eye protection is necessary because of hazards caused by infrared and ultraviolet radiation, or by flying objects such as sparks, globules of molten metal, or chipped concrete and wood, etc. These hazards are always present during welding, cutting, soldering, chipping, grinding, and a variety of other operations. It is absolutely necessary for you to use eye protection devices such as helmets, handshields, and goggles during eye-hazard operations. Appropriate use of goggles will limit eye hazards. Some goggles have plastic windows which resist shattering upon impact. Others are designed to limit harmful infrared and ultraviolet radiation from arcs or flames by the use of appropriate filter lenses. Remember, eye damage can be extremely painful. Protect your eyes.


Protective helmets, also known as hard hats, come in a variety of shapes. They may be made of tough polyethylene or polycarbonate, one of the toughest hat materials yet developed. When falling objects strike the hats, the shockabsorbing suspension capabilities minimize injuries. Regular hard hats must be insulated so that personnel may be protected from accidental head contacts with electrical circuits and equipment at comparatively low voltages (less than 2,200 volts). Electrical workers requiring head protection necessary to perform their duties or to suit the working environment must wear insulating safety helmets or all-purpose protective helmets that must be capable of withstanding 20,000 volt minimum proof-tests.


Use gloves whenever you are required to handle rough, scaly, or splintery objects. Special flameproof gloves are designed for gas and electric welding in order to limit danger and damage from sparks and other hot, flying objects. Personnel working with electricity are usually required to wear insulating rubber gloves. Be sure to follow all regulations prescribed for the use of gloves. Gloves must not be worn around rotating machinery unless sharp or rough material is being handled. If such is the case, extreme care should be used to prevent the gloves from being caught in the machinery

Safety Belts and Safety Straps

The safety belt and safety strap are a must when working in high places. The safety belt, strapped around the waist, contains pockets for small tools. It also has two D-rings used to attach the safety strap. The safety strap is a nylon-reinforced leather belt that is placed around the item to be climbed. It is then attached to the two D-rings on the safety belt.

Ear Protection

Proper hearing protection is a must when working with or around certain types of power tools. Some tools are capable of producing dangerously high noise levels which, if ignored, can result in serious hearing loss or injury. Use hearing protection regularly.


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1. Who is the most important part of safety procedures?

A. Your immediate supervisor
B. The executive officer
C. The safety officer
D. You

2. Before starting work, what action should you accomplish first?

A. Notify the supervisor
B. Inspect your tools
C. Insert hearing protection
D. Operate the tool on a test item

3. Who should you notify for an unsafe condition?

A. Supervisor
B. Safety officer
C. Division officer
D. Commanding officer

4. What equipment can you operate?

A. Any tool in the shop
B. Any tool in the portable toolbox
C. The tool type you are authorized to operate
D. The tools needed for maintenance only

5. What tool habit states a tool is useless if you cannot find it?

A. Keep your tool set complete
B. Keep each tool in its proper place
C. Keep your tools within easy reach
D. Keep your tools in good condition

6. What tool habit states keep an inventory list in the box and check it after each job?

A. Keep your tool set complete
B. Keep you tools within easy reach
C. Keep each tool in its proper place
D. Keep your tools in good condition

7. Always keep your tools clean and free from dirt and what other substance?

A. Rags
B. Paint
C. Grease
D. Saltwater

8. What type of material are tool boxes usually constructed of?

A. Canvas
B. Fiber
C. Nylon
D. Steel

9. What type of tool boxes are used to carry a variety of hand tools?

A. Chest
B. Combination
C. Portable
D. Stationary

10. What type of tool box generally contains larger tools?

A. Chest
B. Combination
C. Portable
D. Stationary

11. What component allows larger tool boxes to move easily from place to place?

A. Electric motor
B. Hydraulic pump
C. Rollers
D. Wheels

12. Before connecting a power tool to a power source, what position should the tool switch be in?


13. Do not allow power cords to kink or come in contact with oil, grease, or what other item?

A. Non-skid
B. Hot surfaces
C. The machinery
D. Another electrical cord

14. When safety shoes are designed to prevent sparks from causing an explosion, what item is removed?

A. The heel
B. Shoelaces
C. Steel toe plate
D. Metallic nails

15. In the protective helmet, what factor minimizes injuries from falling objects?

A. The fiberglass bill
B. The electrical rating
C. Shock-absorbing suspension
D. The construction shape

16. What safety item is a must when working in high places?

A. Gloves
B. Helmet
C. Hearing protection
D. Safety belt and safety strap


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Answers to Exercises

1. D
2. B
3. A
4. C
5. B
6. A
7. C
8. D
9. C
10. A
11. D
12. A
13. B
14. D
15. C
16. D


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