Portable Hand and Power Tool Safety

Hand and power tools are a common part of our everyday lives and are present in nearly every industry. These tools help us to easily perform tasks that otherwise would be difficult or impossible. However, these simple tools can be hazardous and have the potential for causing severe injuries when used or maintained improperly. Special attention toward hand and power tool safety is necessary in order to reduce or eliminate these hazards.


Workers in most industries use hand and portable power tools as part of their job duties, which can expose them to hazards such as the following:

  • Amputations.
  • Broken bones.
  • Cuts/lacerations.
  • Flying debris/dust.

This can lead to workers being hospitalized for their injuries or even death.

Employers need to ensure that workers have been properly trained on the safe use of these tools and determine if personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed. As always, employers should outline these hazards in their required written accident prevention program.

This topic page provides a variety of resources and information that can assist employers, supervisors and workers with safety and health guidance to prevent portable hand and power tool hazards in the workplace.

Requirements & Policies

This rule applies to hand and portable power tools. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Pneumatic/air pressure
  • Electrical
  • Manual/hand held
  • Battery operated


Training & Resources

Meeting Workplace Safety & Health Requirements

You can use these materials to meet specific requirements in L&I Safety & Health rules. You can use other materials as well.


Publications, handouts, checklists


Sample programs

For topic-specific information, see also:

More help from L&I: