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Defective power and hand tools

Power and hand tools that are defective or not maintained properly can result in workers' compensation claims in New York. Tools that are used by, and even furnished by, employees are required to be kept in safe condition by the employer. 

According to OSHA, power and hand tools are commonly found in a number of different industries, and proper maintenance and safety protocols must be followed in order to prevent serious injuries. Employers are required by law to provide safe work spaces and environments for their workers, and this relates to all equipment as well.

According to Business and Legal Resources, tools that must be maintained include wrenches, hammers, axes, drills, lawn mowers, circular saws, grinders, fastener tools, belt sanders and blast cleaning nozzles. There are a number of guidelines that employers are required to follow in regard to these types of equipment. These include:

  • Guards - the majority of portable tools must contain some type of guard that is properly fit for operation in order to diminish user injury 
  • Proper cleaning - certain cleaning procedures must not be used except under specific regulations. For example, compressed air can only be used under a specific pressure and when protective equipment and guarding are used
  • Correct operation - one of the employer's responsibilities is to provide training for appropriate operation of each piece of equipment the employees are using. Ongoing training and retraining must be done for new employees and those who have been found in violation of use 
  • Safe condition - tools should be inspected before, during and after use to ensure they are in good working condition 

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