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Toolbox Talk - Powder-Actuated Tools

Max People Health & Safety Bulletin

Powder actuated tools are an effective, time saving device commonly used on construction sites. They use a controlled explosion created by a small chemical propellant charge which is very similar to the technology used to fire a firearm.

When things go wrong the consequences can be deadly!

Therefore only employees holding an appropriate and current certificate of competence are permitted to operate these tools.


Discussion Points

  • Never underestimate the recoil power of these tools.
  • All PATs must be certified every 6 months by the manufacturer’s agent.
  • Inspect daily, and immediately prior to use, for any defects.
  • Only load the tool where it will be used, immediately prior to its use.
  • Don’t fire where there may be combustible/explosive/flammable material or excessive heat.
  • Display warning signage informing others that a PAT is being fired.
  • Wear eye and hearing protection as well as your normal PPE.
  • Clear people out of the area behind or underneath where you are firing.
  • Shout out a warning ‘Firing now!’ 3 seconds before each shot.
  • Never point the noisy end at yourself or anyone else.
  • Always unload the PAT before cleaning or packing up.
  • PATs and chargers must be stored in a secure place when not in use.
  • Before using a PAT check the tool is within its certification period and just as importantly that you are licenced to use it.