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Posted on: September 21, 2015 By: Trevor Atherton, Safety Mgr

Powder Actuated Tools

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk 

Powder actuated tools are a valuable tool, but can be a very dangerous tool if not handled properly.  The following are a list of safety procedures while handling or use powder actuated tools:

¨     No employee shall operate a powder actuated tool unless they have been trained and certified on operating each specific tool.

¨     Tools shall be tested each day before loading in accordance with the manufacture’s recommendations to insure all safety devices are working properly.  If the tool is found to be defective it shall be immediately removed from service and not returned until properly repaired.

¨     Do not load tools until just prior to the intended firing time.

¨     Never point loaded or unloaded tools at other individuals.

¨     Do not place hands near or over the open barrel end.

¨     Appropriated PPE including safety glasses and hard hat must be worn at all times.

¨     Never leave loaded tools unattended.

¨     Never drive fasteners into very hard or brittle materials such as: cast iron, glazed tile, glass block, hollow tile, etc.

¨     Never drive into easily penetrated materials unless the material is backed by a substance that will prevent the pin or fastener from passing completely through it, creating a flying missile hazard on the other side.

¨     Fasteners shall not be driven into a spalled area caused by and unsatisfactory fastening.

¨     Never use powder actuated tools in an explosive or flammable atmosphere.

¨     Before each use check the tool to insure that all manufacturer’s recommended shields, guards, and attachments are in place.

¨     Always handle the tool as if it were loaded.  Before starting work, check that the tool is unloaded and the muzzle is clear.  Never load a tool unless it is going to be used.

¨     Always clear the work area on all sides and post appropriate warning signs on the job.

¨     Never place your hand over the muzzle.  Accidental discharge can cause serious injury.

¨     Never place your finger on the trigger until the tool’s muzzle is against the work surface.

¨     Always store unloaded powder actuated tool and power loads in a locked container.  Keep power loads of different power levels in separate containers.

¨     Never carry or pass a loaded powder actuated tool.  Never point a powder actuated tool at anyone.

¨     If the tool is dropped, inspect for damage and repair it before continuing work.  Never use a damaged tool.

¨     Always take precautions to maintain your balance while operating a powder actuated tool.

¨     Always hold tool perpendicular to work surface.

¨     Should the tool fail to fire, hold the muzzle firmly against the work surface for 30 seconds.  Release the trigger and remove pressure on the tool while holding the muzzle against the work surface.  Again press the tool firmly against the work surface and pull the trigger.  If the tool still fails to fire, hold firmly against the work surface for another 30 seconds before unloading and carefully discarding the misfired load into water or oil.


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