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FREE Hand Tool SOP (Safe Operating Procedure)

Download our free Hand Tool SOP:

*For internal use only. Not for resale or redistribution. By downloading, you agree to our Free Resources Licensing Agreement.

Hand Tool SOP Example

Purpose of a Hand Tool SOP

Hand tool SOPs outline a safe operating procedure for hand tool use. The SOP can also be used as a training and induction document. The primary goal is to protect workers from injury or illness by outlining a safe system of work and providing adequate training and instruction. This form is broadly aligned with AS45001:2018.

How to Use

This Hand Tool SOP should be communicated to workers before they complete the task. A hard copy can also be displayed in the workplace or provided at the workface. You can also use this document during the induction or onboarding process. This document is a template only and should be customised for your business.

When to Use

Workers should read and agree to comply with the Hand Tool SOP prior to operation within your business. It can also be used for refresher training periodically.

Who Should Use

Hand tool SOPs should be developed by a competent person. The SOP is then read and followed by the worker completing the task. New workers should also read and understand the SOPs during the induction or onboarding process.

Legal Considerations

There is no specific legal requirement to have a documented Safe Operating Procedure (SOP). However, it is best practice, as having SOPs can assist in meeting general legal duties, including:

  • s(19)(3)c WHS Act – Duty to Provide Safe Systems of Work
  • s(19)(3)d WHS Act – Duty to Ensure Safe Use of Plant
  • s(19)(3)f WHS Act – Duty to Provide Adequate Information, Training, Instruction and Supervision
  • s(39) WHS Regulations – Duty to Provide Adequate Information, Training, and Instruction
  • s(203) WHS Regulations – Management of Risks to Health and Safety (PCBUs with management or control of plant)

The Code of Practice “Managing risks of plant in the workplace” states that employers (PCBUs) must provide workers with information, training, and instruction as necessary to protect them from risks arising from the use of the plant.


What is a hand tool?

A hand tool is manually operated for tasks like cutting, shaping, or fastening, such as hammers and screwdrivers. It doesn’t need electricity, unlike power tools, and offers precision and control.

What are hand tools used for?

Hand tools are used for countless tasks from construction and woodworking to gardening and metalworking. They’re essential for detail work, repairs, assembly, and when precision is necessary.

What hazards are involved in hand tool use?

Some hazards that are involved in hand tool use include:

  • Cuts, bruises, lacerations, or scrapes.
  • Flying debris
  • Repetitive strain.
  • Tool slippage.

What are some safety controls that can be utilised during hand tool use?

Some safety controls that can be utilised include:

  • Inspecting for damage before use.
  • Ensuring clear workspaces.
  • Using as manufacturer intended.
  • Wearing PPE.

Did you know?

The use of hand tools dates back to the Stone Age when early humans created rudimentary tools from stone, bone, and wood. Amazingly, some of the hand tools we use today, like hammers and saws, have a lineage of design that can be traced back thousands of years to their ancient predecessors.

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