Fact Sheet

Machine/Tool Safety

Among nonprofit organizations involved in building repair or other construction projects, the use of power tools poses a significant risk in the “machines” category.


To avoid the hazards associated with using power tools, workers must learn to recognize the hazards associated with each type of tool used and the safety precautions necessary to prevent those hazards. Instruction in the proper use of each power tool should be done by a qualified person and should be given to all workers — even experienced “do-it-yourselfers.” The trainee should use the power tool in the presence of the qualified instructor, until the instructor is satisfied that the trainee knows how to use the power tool properly. Staff and volunteers should use only tools provided by the sponsoring organization; the nonprofit cannot ensure the safety of using tools that it does not maintain.


Hand and Power Tools, OSHA Rebuilding Together’s “Basic Safety Tips For Volunteers” tip sheet (adapted from: Bob McKenzie/Owner Builder Center) Habitat for Humanity’s “Construction Safety Policy”

Machine/Tool Safety Checklist