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Impact Wrench & Important Considerations

Impact Wrench & Important Considerations
When thinking about the tools required to install scaffolding, one of the many tools required is the one used to tighten the fitting. There are a couple types of tools that are used.

Scaffold Wrench

The first thing to think about is what a scaffold wrench is. A scaffold wrench is a tool that relies on a long arm and the principle of mechanical advantage. Another term that will be commonly used is Spanner wrench, however it is important to note that this is a common term used for scaffold wrench in many commonwealth countries, except for Canada.

Impact Wrench

An Impact Wrench is an electric tool that relies on an impact (or force) being applied as the mechanics inside the tool spin. This is similar to the method used by workers who press on a tool (such as a drill) with the back of their left hand to apply extra pressure.

Scaffold Wrench vs Impact Wrench

There are various beliefs as to whether a scaffold wrench or impact wrench is better. One factor to take into account is the worker’s health and safety.

When workers use a scaffold wrench, there is a lot of movement that is required. This movement is repeated over and over, and in the long term can cause problems to the worker.

An impact wrench on the other hand requires less movement than a scaffold wrench. However, the downside with using an impact wrench is that the worker may be exposed to vibrations caused from the tool, which over the long term can cause health problems. There are also noise problems which can also cause long term hearing damage to the employees.

In order to combat these health problems that a worker may be exposed to, it is important to train the employees on how to properly perform the movements. When it comes to the impact wrench, many of the problems can be mitigated with the help of proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Impact Driver Kit, Brushless, 3-Speed, 1/4-Inch, Tool Only (DCF887B)
Bosch PS41-2A 12V Max 1/4-Inch Hex Impact Driver Kit with 2 Batteries, Charger and Case, Blue
Makita XDT16Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver, Tool Only

Personal Protective Equipment

Gloves

Various vibration dampening gloves are available on the market today, and thus providing the employees with these gloves will significantly reduce the risk of injury.

However, it is not only important to provide employees with gloves, but also to ensure they use them. Very often, PPE is provided, but workers find that the PPE obstructs the workers ability to work efficiently, and thus they choose not to wear the PPE.

Having good communication with the workers, and ensuring they are comfortable reporting problems with the PPE will be an effective way to ensure they use proper PPE, and ask for new PPE when required.

An instance of when different PPE may be required is when the seasons change. The types of gloves used in the summer months and winter months (especially in areas where snow exists) vary significantly, and it is important to be aware of this and be aware that there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to choosing a vibration-dampening glove.

Ear Plugs

Similar to the vibration-dampening gloves, ear plugs are a form of PPE that should be provided to employees in order to protect them. However, like any type of PPE, if the employee does not know how to properly wear the earplugs, then they could give a false sense of safety.

With all of these negative points associated with using impact wrenches during scaffolding, one important thing to note is that these dangers can be easily minimized, if proper PPE and proper training is required. Therefore, before implementing a protocol to use an impact wrench instead of a scaffold wrench, employees need to be properly trained on how to protect themselves.

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