Sometimes your working space prohibits the use of a torque wrench because you don’t have enough room or clearance. Other times you may just need a little or a lot of extra torque. In either of these cases, you might reach for a striking wrench. It is more compact, making it ideal for tight spaces. Designed to be struck with a sledgehammer, a striking wrench is capable of applying much more torque than a hand wrench. For this reason, hand injuries can be much more common and severe. Consider the following safety guide for using a striking wrench.
Striking Wrench Safety Tips
While providing more torque, striking a wrench with a sledgehammer presents an increased risk for hand injury. Practicing proper safety habits when using striking wrenches is vital to maintaining workplace safety. Use the following 5 tips to keep your workplace safe when using striking wrenches.
Wear Proper Eye Protection
Striking metal on metal sometimes results in chips of metal flying through the air. It’s easy for a small piece of metal to fly into your eye and cause serious damage. Wearing proper safety goggles will protect your eyes from airborne metal and other foreign objects.
Don’t Use Cracked Tools
Inspect both your wrench and the sledgehammer before each use. Look for cracks and other signs of damage. Using damaged tools is the easiest way to send pieces of metal flying through the air, causing damage and injury to you, others around you, or other things. If either tool is cracked or damaged, don’t use it.
Clear the Area Before You Strike
Similar to any other striking tool, clear your work area before swinging the sledgehammer. Make sure there are no objects or people in your line of fire. Careless striking is another easy way to cause needless damage and/or injury.
Strike the Handle Properly
Strike the handle of the wrench properly to prevent glancing blows. Make sure the sledgehammer always impacts the wrench handle squarely. This will not only prevent damage from glancing blows but also ensure maximum torque.
Secure the Wrench to the Fastener
It will require two people to use a striking wrench. One to hold the wrench in place and another to swing the sledgehammer. This increases the chance of injury to both parties. Eliminate this risk by securing the wrench to the fastener with the HammerTight Striking Wrench Retainer. Not only will you eliminate the risk of hand injuries, you will free workers to do other tasks.
Protect Your Hands in the Workplace
A striking wrench is a handy tool in small areas and when extra torque is necessary. It also can present an increased risk for hand injuries. Use this guide to keep your workplace safe when using striking wrenches. Specialty Maintenance Products is your resource for workplace safety and industrial tools. SMP Tools provides employee training and demonstrations on proper tool use. Contact Us for more information on wrench retainers and other hands-free tools.