Toolbox Talk: Hammer Safety

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

The CPWR Toolbox Talk on Hammer Safety addresses the risks associated with using hammers. The resource includes a ‘real-life’ case example, steps to prevent a related injury or illness, and questions for discussion. It includes an image (page 2) that illustrates the hazard, which can be posted in a central location as a reminder of steps to work safely.   Click on the following links to access the English version and the Spanish version. (English) (Español)
2013

https://www.cpwr.com/publications/toolbox-talks

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoThe hammer is one of the most commonly used tools in construction. Although it’s low-tech, it is a common cause of injuries and accidents.

 

 

Here is an Example

Kyle, a roofer in Minnesota, was on the roof of a house he was helping to build. When he happened to sneeze while hammering, he lost control of the hammer and ended up breaking the piece of wood he was working with. Part of the wood splintered off and flew into his eye. He had to have surgery to remove the splintered wood.

  1. What could Kyle have done to prevent this incident from occurring?
  2. Do you know anyone who has been injured by improper hammer use? If so, what caused the injury?

Preventing Injuries from Improper Hammer Use

  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.
  • Make sure the hammer’s handle is safe; be sure it is not loose or damaged.
  • Make sure the area around you is clear and that no one is standing behind you.
  • Use the right type of hammer for the specific job.
    • Never strike hardened steel surfaces with a steel hammer.
    • Use a claw hammer for driving nails.
    • Use a soft metal hammer or one with a plastic, wood, or rawhide head when striking steel surfaces.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent injuries from improper hammer use?

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OSHA Standard: 1926.300

Graphic of a worker wearing eye protection and hammering a nail.

  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.
  • Make sure the hammer's handle is safe; be sure it is not loose or damaged.
  • Use the right type of hammer for the specific job.