Hazard Alert Issued Over Hardened Steel Tool Impacts

SafeWork SA issued a hazard alert in September 2014 following an incident in which a worker received a serious chest injury when a shard of hardened steel embedded itself in the workers’ chest while using a sledge hammer to strike and loosen the hardened bucket tooth on earthmoving equipment.

Many steel tools or implements are hardened, or contain components made from hardened steel, including hammers, chisels, drill bits, pin punches, letter and numeric stamp punches, split wedges, crowbars and wrecking bars, cutting tools and various machinery parts.

Bending, twisting, sudden impact against another hardened surface, or even applying extreme force to hardened steel tools or implements could result in sharp metal fragments (shards) being ejected at a very high speed.

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