What Are Non Sparking Tools?
If you’re one of the thousands of individuals who work in America’s welding, soldering, or related industries (a number that is projected to reach 412,300 by 2024), you’re likely familiar with non sparking tools. But for those who are not, you might be wondering: just what are non sparking tools, and how do they work?
Non sparking hand tools, also known as spark resistant or spark proof tools, are names given to tools made of materials such as brass, bronze, and various copper alloys. In contrast, common hand tools are often made from steel alloys and have more tensile strength than non sparking hand tools.
This means that non sparking tools are less resistant to breaking under stress conditions and have less strength in their use. They can wear down more quickly and have to be dressed or maintained more frequently.
However, they do dramatically reduce the chances of sparks forming during work, which can prevent serious injury or worse when working in certain situations and locations. There are even non sparking tools for welding that can help reduce or stop sparks from forming in those situations as well.
Both OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) and the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) have advised the use of non sparking tools in hazardous locations and environments.
OSHA, however, notes that it is important to carefully assess each situation and use the appropriate tools for the hazards that are present. Some tools are not fully spark stopping, and are more “spark resistant” than they are “non-sparking,” and so understanding the environment that you work in and the materials you are using is important to your safety.
Non sparking tools are different from non magnetic tools or non static tools, both of which can offer similar benefits in some specific circumstances, depending on the working environment.
Non static tools prevent static discharges in situations that have delicate parts, or in environments where touching one part to another might create a static shock that leads to an ignition. Working with computer components is an example of one such environment.
If you have any questions about non sparking tools and equipment, specifically non sparking hand tools, please contact us. We’ll be happy to address them and see if these tools are right for your working environment.