Objective of Use of Pneumatic Tools
Use of Pneumatic Tools are in construction industry is more and it requires some control measures for the Use of Pneumatic Tools for the safety of employees and to reduce the chances of incidents. Incidents can be prevented by implementing administrative control, engineering control and providing personal protective equipments. Administrative control can be reducing the use of equipment or by providing frequent breaks or in summer provision of energy drinks to employees to avoid heat related incidents. Engineering controls can be provision of safety guards.
Use of Pneumatic / Vibration Tools
- Concrete breakers
Hazard / Risk / Consequences
- Vibration – Hand Arm Vibration, Vibration White Finger (VWF), WRULD’s
- Noise – Noise Induced Hearing Loss, Tinnitus
- Electricity (Contact with live services) – Electric Shock Electrocution
- Foreign Bodies – Eye Injury, Loss of Sight, visual Impairment
- Inhalation of Fumes/mists – Lung Cancers & disease leading to death, asthma, sore eyes, vomiting
Actions required To reduce or control risks
- Approved method Statement / Risk assessment must be in place prior to start the work activity
- Ensure Job safety analysis (JSA) /Prestart briefing/TBT is given.
- All equipment over 85dBA (Hard to hear others >1 m normal voice) must ensure that Operatives and others wear ear plugs, over 90dBA ear muffs/defenders.
- If breaking into walls or floors ensure cable detection is carried out prior to break.
- Survey existing drawings for cable runs and pipe work. Identification of services carried out live or dead.
- Permit to Work issued for activity, with isolation/lock offs to existing services carried out.
- If tool has high vibration factor in Hz scale, assess duration of activity, and rotation of job to prevent prolonged use.
- Exposure assessments required, and health surveillance.
- If short term exposure every few minute’s reduction must be achieved, and short breaks frequently taken,
- Suitable PPE worn including padded gloves specific for VWFs. Compressors must be maintained and receive thorough examination.
- COSHH Assessment required for substances used such as lubricating oil.
- RPE and goggles will be required if mist/dust is present.
- Planned schedule maintenance should be ensured and regular inspection of tools prior use.
- Workers to be trained on usage and proper working postures to be maintained to prevent ergonomics effect like WRULD, back pain etc.