Drill Safety

How do you select the proper bit or attachment?

  • Follow manufacturers’ instructions when selecting and using a bit or attachment, especially with unfamiliar drills or work.
  • Select the bit or attachment suitable for the size of the drill and the work being done.
  • Ensure that the bit or attachments are properly seated and tightened in the chuck.
  • Use only bits and attachments that turn true.
  • Use the auxiliary (second) handle for larger work or continuous operation.
Hand Tools - Drills

What should you do when working with powered hand drills?

  • Wear safety glasses or a face shield.
  • Keep drill air vents clear to maintain adequate ventilation.
  • Keep drill bits sharp always.
  • Keep all cords clear of the cutting area during use. Inspect for frays or damage before each use.
  • Disconnect power supply before changing or adjusting bit or attachments.
  • Tighten the chuck securely. Remove the chuck key before starting the drill.
  • Secure workpiece being drilled to prevent movement.
Hand Tools - Drills
  • Slow the rate of feed just before breaking through the surface.
  • Drill a small “pilot” hole before drilling large holes.

What should you do when working with small pieces?

  • Clamp stock so work will not twist or spin.
  • Do not drill with one hand while holding the material with the other.

What should you avoid when working with powered hand drills?

  • Do not use a bent drill bit.
  • Do not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended maximum drilling capacities.
  • Do not use a hole saw cutter without the pilot drill.
  • Do not use high-speed steel (HSS) bits without cooling or using lubrication.
  • Do not attempt to free a jammed bit by starting and stopping the drill. Unplug the drill and then remove the bit from the workpiece.
  • Do not reach under or around stock being drilled.
  • Do not overreach. Always keep proper footing and balance.
  • Do not raise or lower the drill by its power cord.
  • Do not use in wet or muddy locations. Use a nonpowered drill instead.
  • Do not use excessive force to drill into a hard material. Reduce drill speed if possible.

Refer to OSHA Answers General Hand Tool Operation for more tips.

Document last updated on January 8, 2012.

The original source of this information is from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety www.ccchs.ca. All rights reserved.