When it comes to workplace safety, taking the tiniest risk can cost you situations like fires and explosions, especially when you are working in ATEX classified areas. In these environments, using precise hand tools is of the utmost importance as they are spark-resistant and help you avoid accidents and hazards.
The best tools to use in industries like offshore, petrochemical plants, mining, shipbuilding, refineries, and similar others are non-sparking insulated tools. They are also called “non-sparking,” “spark-resistant,” or “spark-proof” tools as they help in eradicating one of the most common industrial problems, and that is friction ignition.
The tools help in preventing sparks that normally generate when two metals come in contact. They are also recognized as safety tools and used in environments that contain flammable contaminants, such as dust, gas, vapors, and fluids. The spark-resistant tools are a perfect alternative to traditional hand tools that cause friction and, in turn, generate sparks, which further results in blasts and explosions. While working in an ATEX area, even a spark or two is enough to cause an explosion of a devastating magnitude.
To ensure workplace safety, it has become necessary for industries to invest in non-sparking insulated tools having non-ferrous composition. You can find these tools in materials like brass, bronze, plastic, copper-aluminum, and copper-beryllium. The tools are available in a wide range of options so that you can buy the ones that meet your industrial requirements.
As the tools are made of non-ferrous metals, they are comparatively softer than the steel made hand tools. Therefore, they require extra care to prevent them from being deformed by the exertion of more pressure than required. There are multiple other things that need to be kept in mind while using non sparking tools, and that is as follows:
Keeping them clean
If you want your non-sparking hand tools to deliver long-lasting performance, you must clean them regularly after use. The tools need to be kept clean of any unwanted particle deposits and dust that usually settles at the ends of the tools, degrading their spark resistance property. Keeping the tools clean will help you ensure safety in your working environment and prevent fire and explosion situations.
Non-sparking tools are not as robust as their regular steel made counterparts because of the non-ferrous composition. They are soft and can get deformed if more pressure is exerted than required. Thus, it becomes crucial to use these tools with less pressure and maintain them frequently.
In confined spaces and industrial environments, you can find dust everywhere. This is because the air is stagnant there and do not get a proper passage to go in and out from. The presence of dust increases the chances of fires and explosions in APEX environments. By using spark-proof tools, you can eliminate spark ignition, thus uprooting the risk of accidental hazards.
Continuous monitoring of the environment is another major factor that will help you ensure that a potentially precarious situation hasn’t been developed. This way, you can ensure the safety of your workers by proactively taking care of any threat that may occur.
Every non-sparking hand tool comes with a user manual, having a detailed explanation of how the tool needs to be used and other information related to its maintenance. Before using the tool, it’s better that you go through the user manual to avoid any situation that may lead to fire or explosion.
Benefits of using Non-sparking insulated tools
Spark-free tools offer you a simple way to work safely in any explosive environment. They are available in a range of options, owing to which it becomes crucial that you use the right tools for your industrial jobs and provide workers with adequate tooling.
Here are some of the benefits of using safety hand tools:
- No downtown required: One of the best things about these tools is that they allow you to perform maintenance work without affecting the productive hours of your industry. With these tools at your disposal, you can eliminate the risk of explosions and allow workers to perform their daily operations with ease.
- Protection: Non-sparking hand tools prevent accidental hazards like fires and explosions in environments where there are chances of sparks igniting flammable solvents, vapors, dust, liquids, or residues.
- Easy to use: Another significant benefit of using spark-resistant tools is that you can use them repeatedly without getting your hands tired as they have ergonomic handles. You can have a powerful grip over them and reduce the chances of their slipping away and causing injuries.
Explosive environments demand tools that won’t create sparks that create ignitions and result in an explosion or fire. This is why the non-sparking tools came into existence.
You can easily find safety tools that are ATEX Certified (a European standard for tools, representing that the tools are safe to use in explosive areas) to ensure a safe workplace environment. We hope that the tips mentioned above will help you use the tools safely and maintain a productive environment in your workplace.