The third module of the great, free online course of Caterpillar’s Learning Management System called Technicians for Africa, is all about hand tools. While most people have used hand tools of some description in their lives, it’s important not only to know how to use them properly, but also to use them safely.
The technical training offered by Caterpillar has been specially created to show technicians, graduates and unemployed people looking to get into the fields of mining and construction, the ins and outs of using hand tools correctly. It shows the important, fundamental concepts of using hand tools, as well as creating awareness of the importance of using tools correctly.
The tools discussed and demonstrated in Module 3 of the online course include pliers, screwdrivers, chisels and punches, grease guns, pry bars, ratchets and sockets, torque tools and wrenches. It also demonstrates the use of some heavier hand tools, such as the range of pneumatic tools, including spray guns, sanders and polishers, air hammers, sheet metal rippers and splitting chisels. It is vital when using heavier duty tools like these to always check the tools before turning them on for maintenance issues and it goes without saying that you should never operate a machine or tool you are unfamiliar with. No amount of equipment, technology or advanced machinery design can replace caution and safe work practices.
Some safety tips to bear in mind when using light and heavy-duty hand tools:
- Don’t use broken or damaged tools; keep sharp edges in good condition.
- Always cut away from your body, especially when using your body weight to get leverage.
- Carry tools in a tool belt or box, especially when going up a ladder – a hammer falling from the top of a ladder becomes a lethal weapon.
- Never carry sharp objects in your pocket, like a screwdriver.
- Ensure when you begin a task, you have the right grip on the tools, as well as secure footing.
- Pass a tool to another person by the handle – never throw it to them.
- Don’t work with oily or greasy hands.
- Always return your tools (cleaned) their correct place of storage when you are done.
If you follow these simple guidelines, you are likely to have a safer and more enjoyable working experience. To learn more about the correct use of hand tools, check out the Technicians for Africa online course, from Caterpillar.
Easy to understand technical insights can help to increase your knowledge
Using the same course material that Caterpillar uses to train its own employees, the online course will help you get the knowledge you need to fast track your career in mining and construction. It’s just three simple steps: Enrol, Engage and Certify.