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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 3 (July 1, 1927)

Tool Accidents

Tool Accidents.

An interesting and useful analysis of accidents arising from the manipulation of tools in the performance of railway work has recently been made overseas. It reveals that 89 per cent. of all tool accidents can be classified as follows:—


Struck by tools in hands of self, or others (33 per cent.).


Bars slipping (25 per cent.).


Jacks slipping or falling (16 per cent.).


Wrenches slipping (15 per cent.).

Tool accidents due to other causes amount to 11 per cent.

The fact that tool accidents on the railways are almost solely confined to the employees of the Workshops, Running Sheds, and of the Maintenance Department, where the men work in more or less definite groups under the control of a leading hand or foreman, simplifies the problem of the reduction of these particular accidents-if those concerned would set about such a task with determination. These accidents occur daily and, in the majority of cases, are not unattended with pain, shock, and loss to those who are unfortunate enough to suffer injury. Leading-hands and foremen should keep a sharp look-out for unsafe practices in the use of tools and appliances of all kinds, and, when necessary, instruct the men in correct handling methods. The men themselves, moreover, should avoid every practice in the use of tools which common sense does not sanction. Given this mutual interest in safety work, and co-operation between the men and their officers, the percentage of tool accidents should drop to a negligible quantity, or they may even be entirely prevented.

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