Using the Jack Hammer Safely

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Summary Statement

A short guide on how to minimize risk to one’s hands, eyes, ears and lungs while operating a jackhammer.


  • Read the operator's instruction manual before using the tool.
  • Be sure electric models with a three-wire system are properly grounded, to reduce the risk of fire and electric shock. This is not necessary for double insulated models. Use a ground fault interrupter (GFI) for maximum safety protection.
  • Be sure the extension cord for electric models is a size large enough for the distance from the receptacle to tool.
  • On engine-driven, air models always fill the gas tank out of doors with engine shut off and cool. Never handle fuel while smoking or in the presence of sparks or open flame. Allow the engine to cool briefly if you need to refuel during operation.
  • Always wear proper protective equipment. Safety glasses or shield, safety helmet, hearing protection, safety shoes, breathing protection, sturdy long pants, and long-sleeved shirt are essential.
  • Check all bits to see that they are sharp. If not, sharpen according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Always use eye protection when operating a grinder.


  • Always disconnect the electric power or air supply before inserting or removing tools.
  • Be sure all tools are properly locked into the unit before operating.
  • Keep all bystanders, children, and pets out of the work area.
  • Prevent back injuries by using your leg muscles to lift the machine into operating position.
  • Allow the tool to do the work by using a grip light enough to maintain control.
  • Take rest breaks as needed.
  • If stopping work for a short period of time or for the day, unplug the electricity or stop the compressor.