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Hilti, Ramset, and Red Head are just a few of the manufacturers of powder-actuated tools. These tools are designed to fire a special nail or fastening device into concrete, steel and masonry using a small caliber charge as a firing device. [See 1926.302(e)]
The number one safety rule to remember is - only property trained and qualified operators should ever use powder-actuated tools. Users should possess 'Qualified Operations Cards' which, after thorough training, are issued by a particular manufacturer's authorized dealer or distributor or other competent source.
When using the tool it must be held firmly against and perpendicular to the surface into which the fastening device is being driven. Never shoot into a blind surface. Take the necessary time to check the other side. Many innocent construction workers have been injured, and some even killed, from being struck by a wayward fastening device which ricocheted off or went completely through the target.
Personal protective equipment must be worn by the operator, and the face should be protected if there is any danger of spalling materials. Check with your supervisor on the type of safety goggles required. [See 1926.102 Table E-1 I
All powder-actuated tools must be tested daily - before use - and all defects discovered before or during use must be corrected. Tools must not be loaded until immediately before use. Loaded tools must not be left unattended. Keep hands clear of the muzzle end. Powder-actuated tools should never be stored or used in explosive atmospheres.
When you are through using a powder-actuated tool, unload it and dispose of firing rounds property; never leave them laying around. For proper training check with your powder-actuated vendor, who will often come to the work site and conduct a safety class. Finally, if you are not qualified to use the tool, don't!
Powder-actuated tools should never be pointed at anyone whether the tool is loaded or not!
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