Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Know how to handle a hammer -Safety Moment #4

2 min read

According to the statistics of Occupational Health and Safety, hammers are “widely used and often abused.” So, what can workers do to avoid injuries?

S.M#4 : Know how to handle a hammer

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Proper use

CCOHS recommends first selecting a hammer that feels comfortable in your hand and is the appropriate size and weight for the task you’ll be performing. Then, choose a hammer that has a striking face diameter of about half an inch larger than the face of the tool being struck (such as a chisel or wedge).

Stay aware of your surroundings and where co-workers are standing. Always look above and behind you before swinging a hammer, and keep your eye on the object you’re hitting.

Other tips include ensuring the hammer’s head is firmly attached to the handle; wearing face protection such as safety glasses, goggles and face shields; and being careful to strike a blow directly with the striking face parallel to the surface being struck. Additionally, avoid making glancing blows and striking objects in an over or under fashion.

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Don’t do it

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of actions should not be taken when wielding a hammer.

According to CCOHS, workers should never:

  • Use a hammer with a loose, cracked or splintered handle.
  • Use a hammer that has a “mushroomed” or chipped face.
  • Use a hammer to strike another hammer or other hard object.
  • Use a hammer for any task it was not specifically designed or intended for.
  • Grind, weld, redress or reheat-treat a hammerhead.
  • Strike any object with the side of a hammer.
  • Toss or throw a hammer. When passing a hammer to someone, always hand it to them handle-first.

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