Using Non-Sparking tools? Here’s some sound advice from Bahco
Bahco hand tools and specialist equipment have been synonymous with safety for almost 130 years; the global brand’s design and manufacturing teams are passionate about user safety.
The latest range of Bahco Non-Sparking (NS) tools has been designed for use in potentially explosive environments, where ‘traditional’ steel tools might create sparks in the presence of combustible or easily ignitable vapours, liquids and dust.
Because NS tools cannot reach the hardness of conventional tools their use has to be carried out with special care. Mark Haywood, who leads the Bahco team in the UK, offers the following recommendations to users of NS tools:
Avoid overstraining and heating; make frequent visual checks of each NS tool during use;
Don’t use both a steel tool and an NS tool at the same time;
Don’t use high copper content tools, such as Al-Br and Cu-Be tools, in direct contact with acetylene;
Always take considerable care when reworking copper-beryllium (Cu-Be) tools as beryllium (Be) dust or vapour is toxic;
Cu-Be tools should be ground only when wet;
Do not inhale any dust and be sure to wear a face mask;
Make sure all NS tools are kept clean and free from ferrous or other contaminants which may hamper the properties of a non-sparking tool;
The tool’s surface temperature must not be higher than the present gases temperature;
Ensure that no objects which could cause a spark fall or are dropped within the working environment.
Reducing risk: Non-ferrous, softer materials such as brass, bronze, copper-aluminum alloys (aluminum bronze), or copper-beryllium alloys (beryllium bronze) greatly reduce the risk of producing ignitable sparks.
Bahco NS tools are manufactured in aluminum-bronze (Al-Br) or copper-beryllium (Cu-Be), making them both safe and suitable for use in hazardous environments.
All NS tools in the range are produced according to the international DIN and ISO standards in terms of dimensions, cutting capacity, and strength, with hardness being adapted to the purpose of the tool.
Tools used for striking applications, like slogging wrenches and hammers, are manufactured in aluminum-bronze (Al-Br), while tools that require a higher torque and precision performance, such as pliers, screwdrivers and adjustable wrenches, are manufactured in copper-beryllium (Cu-Be).
Hand tools are not within the scope of the 94/9/EC directive but Bahco take safety so seriously that they have their NS range certified by the independent German laboratory BAM, the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing.
The Bahco range of NS tools includes hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, grattoirs and other striking and construction tools.
Its non-sparking adjustable wrenches, manufactured in copper beryllium, are die-forged, anti-magnetic and offer high resistance to corrosion. They are produced according to ISO 6787.
Combination wrenches, also die-forged, are produced using aluminium bronze, according to DIN 3113, while double open end wrenches, made from the same material, meet DIN 895.
Slogging open end wrenches, used with a hammer to tighten large bolts and nuts, also meet DIN 133.
NS screwdrivers for use with slotted head, Phillips® or Posidriv® screws have been developed by Bahco using its scientific ERGO® process. Made from copper beryllium they are cold rolled, anti-magnetic and corrosion resistant. Their handles are produced using anti-static plastics.
The range also includes NS pliers in several types, including combination, diagonal cutting, long nose and slip joint.
German-type stoning hammers, with a two component handle, are available with either fibreglass or hickory handle. These are made in aluminium bronze and meet standard UNE 16590. Ball pein, machinist and sledge hammers are also in the range.
Other striking tools include a die-forged non-sparking wedge, for lifting or separating objects or for holding them in place. An NS wrecking bar is curved at the forked end to provide more leverage.
Grattoirs include a cross cutting chisel for creating grooves and slots, a centre punch and flat, angled, three square, triangular, long blade and flexible scrapers, all with beech handles.
When working offshore the secure, organised and stable storage of hand tools can be an issue. Bahco offers the ideal solution with its ergonomic Tool Management System which enables engineers to know where to find every tool they need without delay.
Bahco’s Configurator software enables customers to choose the size, style, colour and format of lockable tool trolleys and decide how many drawers they will need for each tool group.
Foam inlays in each drawer are then customised to provide the logical storage and layout of tools and equipment which engineers require.
Colour coding shows when a tool has been removed from its designated storage space, guarding against the risk of foreign object damage.
For more information on non-sparking tools or managed tool storage visit www.bahco.com