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General Requirements Shipbuilding Ship Repair Shipbreaking Barge Cleaning

General Requirements Tools and Related Equipment


A variety of portable power and hand tools (such as grinders, drills, saws, and wrenches) are used throughout shipyard employment. Improper use or lack of maintenance can result in worker injuries. The following sections provide information for the safe use of tools: Review General Precautions as well as the PPE: General Shipyard Worker before proceeding with the specific tools. Note: Confined space entry is one of the leading hazards associated with barge cleaning. Review the Ship Repair: Confined/Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres chapter for information on how to protect workers from this hazard.

General Precautions
Figure 1: Improper practice - Worker carrying tools in a tool bag while climbing improperly positioned ladder.
Figure 1: Improper practice - Worker carrying tools in a tool bag while climbing improperly positioned ladder.

Figure 2: Worker grinding painted metal may be exposed to inhalation hazards
Figure 2: Worker grinding painted metal may be exposed to inhalation hazards.

Figure 3: Moving parts of machinery equipment must be guarded. Image showing circular saw guard in red
Figure 3: Moving parts of machinery equipment must be guarded. Image showing circular saw with guard in red.

Figure 4: Properly guarded blower
Figure 4: Properly guarded blower.
Potential Hazards:

The following are examples of tool-related injuries:
  • Fractures from belts and pulleys and hand tools.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning from internal combustion engines.
  • Embolism from compressed air.
  • Falls from climbing while holding tools.
  • Cuts, punctures, abrasions, and amputations from grinders, saws, hand tools, and powder-actuated fasteners. Also see Hand and Body Protection.
  • Eye Injuries from grinders, saws, and chisels. Also see Eye and Face Protection.
  • Hearing loss from noise. Also see Hearing Protection.
  • Inhalation of toxic materials, dust. Also see Respiratory Protection.
  • Repetitive motion injuries from improper positioning or use of tools.
Requirements and Example Solutions:
  • Workers must have both hands free while climbing or descending. [29 CFR 1915.131(a)]
  • When air tools of the reciprocating type (such as chipping hammer and riveting gun) are not in use, the dies and tools must be removed. [29 CFR 1915.131(b)]
  • Circular saws must be properly guarded. [29 CFR 1915.131(c)]
  • The moving parts of machinery on dry dock (for example, pumps, winches, and compressors) must be guarded. [29 CFR 1915.131(d)]
  • Extension hoses (whips) to pneumatic tools must be positively secured (for example, with pins or wires, clamps). [29 CFR 1915.131(e)]
  • Moving parts of drive mechanisms, such as gearing and belting on large portable tools (for example, abrasive blast hoppers, pumps, compressors, saws, and blowers) must be adequately guarded. [29 CFR 1915.131(f)]
  • Compressed air manifolds and headers must be marked "air". [29 CFR 1915.131(g)]
  • Compressed air hose must be examined before use. Visibly damaged and unsafe hose must not be used. [29 CFR 1915.131(h)]

  • Ensure that the air supply is shut-off when changing pneumatic powered tools.
  • Refer to the shipyard ergonomic guidelines for proper positioning and use of tools.
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Portable Electrical Tools
Figure 5: Improper practice - Damaged electrical cable
Figure 5: Improper practice: Damaged electrical cable.

Figure 6: Worker using grinder with deadman control
Figure 6: Worker using grinder with deadman control.

Figure 7: Grounding circuits for portable electric tools and temporary lights must be checked
Figure 7: Grounding circuits for portable electric tools and temporary lights must be checked.
Potential Hazards:

Damaged or defective electrical hand tools can cause burns, electric shock, and electrocution. Using tools without "deadman" switches may cause a worker to become entangled in the tool, potentially exposing the worker to cuts, amputations, and fractures.

Requirements and Example Solutions:

  • Portable electrical tools must be properly grounded, unless they are approved double insulated tools. [29 CFR 1915.132(a)]
  • Grounding circuits must be checked. [29 CFR 1915.132(b)]
  • Portable hand held tools must be equipped with a "deadman" switch. [29 CFR 1915.132(c)]
  • Worn or frayed electric cables must not be used.  [29 CFR 1915.132(d)]
  • The officer in charge of the vessel must be notified to ensure electrical compatibility with the vessel's electrical system and the tool being used. [29 CFR 1915.132(e)]

  • Insulating materials (such as mats and gloves) should be periodically tested or inspected.
  • All electrical tools or equipment should undergo a visual inspection prior to use.
  • All portable electric hand tools and temporary lighting systems should utilize Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI).
  • Electrical tools and equipment should correspond with the requirements of the job.
  • Electrical equipment and tools should be used with proper circuit protection for the voltage and amperage used.
  • Only qualified electricians should attempt repair of electrical tools and equipment in use.
  • A Ground Assurance Program should be in place for all electrical tools and equipment used including:
    • Records of tools inspected and repaired.
    • Records of electrical boxes inspected and repaired.
    • Records of electrical extension cords inspected and repaired.
    • Recall of records of the above.
  • The requirements of the Ground Assurance Program should be performed on a regular basis.
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Hand Tools
Potential Hazards:

Hazards from the use of hand tools include: Requirements and Example Solutions:
  • Unsafe hand tools must not be used. [29 CFR 1915.133(a)]
  • Wrenches must not be used when damage causes slippage to occur. [29 CFR 1915.133(b)]
  • Impact tools, such as drift pins, wedges, and chisels, must be kept free of mushroomed heads. [29 CFR 1915.133(c)]
  • Wooden handles of tools must be kept free of splinters or cracks and must be kept tight in the tool. [29 CFR 1915.133(d)]
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Abrasive Wheels
Figure 8: Bench grinder with proper guard and correctly adjusted work rest
Figure 8: Bench grinder with proper guard and correctly adjusted work rest.

Figure 9: Hand held grinder with guard
Figure 9: Hand held grinder with guard.

Figure 10: Grinder with guard properly aligned and with maximum opening of 180 degrees
Figure 10: Grinder with guard properly aligned and with maximum opening of 180 degrees.

Figure 11: Worker protected by eye and face protection while grinding
Figure 11: Worker protected by eye and face protection while grinding.
Potential Hazards:
  • Cuts and amputations from grinders
  • Fractures from belts and pulleys and hand tools
  • Eye injuries from grinders
  • Punctures from work piece or debris when using hand tools
  • Hearing loss from noise
  • Inhalation of toxic materials, dust
  • Embolism from compressed air
  • Struck by fragments from exploding grinding wheels
Requirements and Example Solutions:
  • Floor stand and bench mounted abrasive wheel grinders must be properly guarded and equipped with properly adjusted (for example, not to exceed 1/8 inch) work rests. [29 CFR 1915.134(a) and (b)]
  • Handheld grinders used for external use must be protected and have safety guards with the following exceptions: [29 CFR 1915.134(c)]
  • Handheld grinders used for internal grinding must be protected and have safety flanges with the following exceptions: [29 CFR 1915.134(d) and (f)]
  • Safety guards are required to: [29 CFR 1915.134(e) and 29 CFR 1910.243(c)(3), See Figure P-4.]
    • be properly aligned,
    • be of sufficient strength, and
    • have a maximum opening of 180 degrees.
  • Abrasive wheels must be closely inspected and ring tested before mounting. [29 CFR 1915.134(g)]
  • Grinding wheels must fit freely on the spindle and the spindle nut must not be over-tightened. [29 CFR 1915.134(h)]
  • Power supply must be sufficient to maintain the rated spindle speed. Rated maximum speed of the abrasive wheel must not be exceeded. [29 CFR 1915.134(i)]
  • Workers using abrasive wheels must be provided with eye and face protection. [29 CFR 1915.134(j)] Also see, Eye and Face Protection.
  • Abrasive wheels must be flat (for example, properly dressed) and free of foreign matter (such as copper, aluminum, and bronze residue). [29 CFR 1910.215(d)(3) and 29 CFR 1910.243(c)(5)(iii)]
     
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Powder-Actuated Fastening Tools
Figure 12: Worker with proper eye and face protection and ear plugs
Figure 12: Worker with proper eye and face protection and ear plugs.
Potential Hazards: Requirements and Example Solutions:
  • Powder-actuated fastening tools must be tested daily before operations and removed from service if found defective. [29 CFR 1915.135(b)(1)]
  • Powder actuated fastening tools must not be used in explosive or flammable atmosphere. [29 CFR 1915.135(b)(2)]
  • All tools must be used with appropriate guards (for example, shield, muzzle guard). [29 CFR 1915.135(b)(3)]
  • Fasteners must not be driven into very hard or brittle materials (such as cast iron, glazed tile, surface hardened steel, glass block, face brick, or hollow tile). [29 CFR 1915.135(b)(4)]
  • Fasteners must not pass completely through the material and backing, or be driven to close to the edge, creating a projectile hazard. [29 CFR 1915.135(b)(5) and (b)(6)]
  • Fasteners must not be driven through existing holes unless a positive guide is used to secure accurate alignment. [29 CFR 1915.135(b)(7)]
  • Do not drive a fastener into a spalled area caused by an unsatisfactory fastening. [29 CFR 1915.135(b)(8)]
  • Workers using powder-actuated fastening tools must be protected by personal protective equipment. [29 CFR 1915.135(b)(9)] Also see PPE Selection.
  • Workers must be thoroughly trained by a competent person (not the Shipyard Competent Person) before using powder-actuated fastening tools. [29 CFR 1915.135(c)]
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Internal Combustion Engines
Testing for carbon monoxide in space below deck
Figure 13: Testing for carbon monoxide in space below deck.
Potential Hazards:

Use of internal combustion engines in confined or enclosed spaces may expose workers to toxic gases (such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, diesel exhaust).

Requirements and Example Solutions:
  • Exhaust from internal combustion engines used in a fixed position below decks, must be vented into the open air and not recirculated back into the vessel. [29 CFR 1915.136(a)]
  • All exhaust line joints and connections must be checked and free from leaks. [29 CFR 1915.136(b)]
  • Testing for carbon monoxide is required when internal combustion engines exhaust into the atmosphere below decks. Testing must be performed by the Shipyard Competent Person (SCP). Workers must be removed and the space ventilated when safe limits are exceeded. [29 CFR 1915.136(c)]
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