Hand Tools and Grips

A tool that is poorly designed, maintained, or inappropriately used can cause injury.

Hand tools should fit the employee's hand; employees with small hands or who are left-handed may need tools designed specifically for these situations.  A tool that works well in one situation may expose the user to awkward postures, harmful pressures on the hand, or excessive vibration in another.

When selecting and purchasing hand tools, follow these guidelines:

  • Select tools that allow the wrist to be held fairly straight and that minimize twisting of the arm and wrist. Good working posture can be maintained when tool features and design are well matched with the task requirements.
  • Select tools that allow the operator to use a power grip, not a pinch grip. Pinch grips require excessive force, and can lead to an injury
  • Avoid tools that put excessive pressure on any one area of the hand (i.e., sides of fingers, palm of the hand).
  • For power or pneumatic tools, select tools with vibration dampening built in whenever possible. Provide personal protective equipment such as anti-vibration gloves to reduce exposure.