The professionals in fields such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical jobs and other mechanical jobs need to work with a lot of hand tools. Common tools are also kept in most homes for sudden requirements such as pulling out a nail, tightening a loose screw of some machine, opening a sealed box or any other repair work. Some of the tools used today are powered but most of the conventional ones - such as hammer, pliers, screwdriver, utility knife, putty knife - are plain hand tools and the suitability of their design is important for safe and prolonged usage.
A hand tool is considered ergonomic when it fits the task that you are performing and fits into your hand without causing awkward positions, painful or harmful touch pressures, or other safety and health risks. On using a tool that cannot be gripped properly or keeps slipping out of your hand because of its awkward design, you may develop a wound or problems such as carpel tunnel syndrome, muscle strain, and tendonitis. Most of these problems do not occur because of a single incident such as a fall. They actually result from repetitive moments that are performed over a long period of time. It is when you start feeling the pain that the damage is realized and this damage can be to muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, joints, cartilage, spinal discs or blood vessels.
The usual symptoms of a health problem caused by poor hand tools include:
* Tingling sensation
* Constant muscle fatigue
* Swelling in the joints
* Sore muscles
* Reduced ability to move
* Reduced grip strength
* Changes in skin color of your hands or fingers
* Sudden pain due to movement, pressure, or exposure to cold
Such signs do not appear immediately and may take weeks, months or years to develop. But medical help should be taken early as ignoring the symptoms can cause more severe problems later.
For a professional, the cost of an injury or any other health problem can be pretty high especially when it prevents the person from doing his/her job. It is therefore essential to choose the right make, size and material for hand tools that you use. A good tool should ideally have the following traits:
* Fits the task that you are doing
* Fits the work space available
* Fits into your hand
* Does not require you to apply too much force
* Can be used comfortably in a work position without causing fatigue
Before choosing a tool, it is important to think about the task that you will be performing with it. Hand tools are devised for specific purposes and using one for something other than its intended purpose can cause you pain or injury while also damaging the tool. As examples, hammers are striking tools, whereas pliers, snips and cutters are used for gripping, pinching and cutting. You will mitigate your chances of getting hurt if you use the right tool for right purpose.
You need to check the amount of space you have for work because awkward postures can cause you to apply more force. In some cases, the placing of the work piece can impact your shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, or back posture.
As far as possible, use a tool for which you need least force and it fits well in your hands - this helps you to minimize pain and tiredness while keeping your neck, shoulders, and back more relaxed.
While buying hand tools from online stores, you may not be able to check the product physically but checking its design and sizes will help you to know how useful can it be for the task you intend to complete. Do read the product description and contact a customer service executive for any queries before you buy the item.