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Operate and take care of equipment in an office (114976)

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All businesses must have procedures for training personnel in the use of repair and maintenance tools. Even the simplest tool, such as a screwdriver, can be a safety hazard if improperly used.

The procedures should include the following:

  • Safety equipment (personal protective equipment, such as eye protections, gloves, hearing protection) that must be used when using the tools.
  • Any training/qualification procedures that must be accomplished prior to use of the equipment.
  • Any special storage requirements.
  • Any check-out/check-in procedures.
  • Person or department responsible for the equipment.
  • Reporting procedure for any problems or defects found when using the equipment.


Many local governments have special requirements for the storage and use of maintenance equipment. It is vital that a business understands these requirements prior to using the tools. The local building inspection department is a good source for finding these regulations.

Examples of local government rules

  • Fuel for power tools must be stored in approved containers. There are also health requirements in regards to where the fuel can be stored.
  • If you have a portable generator as a backup power source there may be rules about air pollution from that generator.
  • With the added concern about air pollution, there may be local rules about the use of any power tools.
  • Many local governments are establishing rules about noise pollution.


Tools and equipment must be maintained if they are to be operated in a safe and effective manner. Elements of good maintenance requirements include:

  • Inspection of the tools and equipment at checkout or start-up of the job. This can include such items as a visual inspection of the power cord to make sure it is not damaged, visual inspection to make sure equipment parts are securely attached, and inspection for cleanliness.
  • Inspection of tools and equipment upon check in or at completion of the job. This should include cleaning the tools after use, reporting any problem with the tool or equipment while in use, draining any excess fuel or flammable fluids from the equipment.
  • Routine maintenance as per the manufacturer’s requirements.

Tools and equipment must be used and stored in a proper manner to insure usability of the equipment. This requires the establishment of procedure for training, operating, storing and maintaining this equipment.