How Do I Use Non-sparking Tools Correctly?

June 17, 2022

Non-sparking tools are hand tools made of a material (usually a copper alloy) that gives them special non-sparking properties. This property ensures that these tools do not emit high-temperature sparks. Ordinary steel tools made of chrome vanadium and iron alloys produce friction sparks. These sparks can acquire higher temperatures and have the potential to ignite flammable gases and vapors. Non-sparking tools may emit cold sparks with very low heat and cannot ignite flammable gases.

Who needs to use these tools?

Hand tools are an essential tool for any industry. Many industries, including but not limited to oil and gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, fertilizer, steel, automotive, FMCG, petrochemical companies, etc., have operators who perform maintenance or daily operations in specific areas within their plants. These areas are identified as hazardous areas and operators in these areas should be mandated to use non-sparking tools.


T Type Wrench

 T Type Wrench

Proper tool selection.

Different hand tools are designed for different applications. Selecting the correct non-sparking tool for your application is the most important step for any company. Although it sounds obvious, we have seen many users purchase the incorrect tools for their applications. When these tools are put into use, the end-user faces a number of challenges and incorrectly assumes that the tool is not working. We have been helping our customers match the right tool to the job and have developed custom tooling solutions in many cases where the standard tooling does not meet the requirements. This ensures that non-sparking tools are used in the workplace, thus ensuring safety.


How do I use non-sparking tools correctly?

Once you have matched the correct tool to your application, it is equally important to understand the limitations of each tool. In the case of standard hand tools, they are designed for a specific purpose, and using it outside of that will mostly constitute misuse. One example - is a double-ended wrench that can only be used by hand. Hammering a double-ended wrench or using a pipe to increase leverage and apply more torque are two applications for which it was not designed and which are serious misuses of the tool. Similarly, tapping a screwdriver with a screwdriver or using a wrench as a hammer is a serious misuse.

Non Sparking Monkey Adjustable Wrench 

Non Sparking Monkey Adjustable Wrench

All of these are indications that the correct tool is not matched to your application and that the tool is being misused to "get the job done". This can lead to performance problems and much shorter tool life, while greatly increasing the security risk.


Final Thoughts

The lack of spark-free tools in the industry has led to many accidents. Several case studies have identified frictional sparks in hand tools that have led to fires. Plant operators and maintenance personnel need to follow these 3 steps to reduce the risk of fires.


Properly identify and designate flammable areas

Select the correct set of hand tools for the application in that area

Ensure your operators are using these tools correctly. This three-step process will greatly improve the safety of your plant

If you want to get more information about the non-sparking tools, welcome to contact us today or request a quote.