Mechanical cutting tools

The purpose of this standard is to provide the candidate with knowledge and skills to use hand and power mechanical cutting tools for use in demolition activities such as: saws, shears, grinders, and hammers.

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry


Minimum 1 day of 6 learning hours


The purpose of this standard is to provide the candidate with knowledge and skills to use hand & power mechanical cutting tools for use in demolition activities such as: saws, shears, grinders, and hammers.

The scope of this standard covers:

  • types and selection of hand and power tools
  • set up, safety checks, and use tools
  • maintenance, storage, and faults
  • discs, bits, chisels, and ancillaries
  • power supplies for tools
  • hazards, risks, and controls
  • associated personal protective equipment (PPE)

Occupational relevance

Training delivered against this standard would be relevant to the following occupational groups:

  • operative and craft
  • supervision.

Candidate pre-requisites

The candidate pre-requisite for this course is CCDO demolition labourer.


As a minimum, course instructors must be able to demonstrate that, in relation to this standard, they have:

  • A train the trainer or instructional techniques course certificate
  • Successfully completed training to this standard 
  • At least 2 years relevant industrial experience
  • A verifiable CV.


The following delivery methods may be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • classroom and/or workshop
  • on site in a safe and supervised environment

All materials and equipment must be of a suitable quality and quantity for candidates to achieve learning outcomes, and must comply with relevant legislation.

The class size and candidate/instructor ratio must allow training to be delivered in a safe manner and enable candidates to achieve the learning outcomes.

Maximum 12 candidates per trainer for safety reasons.

This standard is considered to contain 51 per cent or more practical learning.


For the successful completion of training, candidates must complete an end of course practical assessment or knowledge test that measures the learning outcomes and has a pass or fail criteria.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance against this standard will require initial approval of the training organisation and their content mapped to the standard. 

CITB will also conduct an approval intervention, either desk-based or centre visit, to ensure the training organisation can meet the requirements of the Training Standard. 

Approved training organisations (ATOs) will be required to present information on records of training and assessment upon request to CITB for desk-based analysis. They will also be visited annually by the CITB quality assurance team.


Non-mandatory refresher every 3 years

Approval date

November 2018

Review cycle

Either on request or in 3 year(s) from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The candidate will learn how to

Additional guidance to support learning outcome

Describe how to identify materials for salvage

  • Photos to practice selecting materials
  • Video of how to remove mortar and clean bricks
  • Actual tools and equipment
  • Manufacturer’s tools operating & maintenance manuals and sales brochures
  • Photos/videos of how to use tools and equipment
  • Photos/videos of how to quarantine damaged or broken tools and equipment
  • Good and bad practice of tool use

Describe how to select, sort, stack, and secure salvageable materials for transport and storage including:

  • on pallets
  • on vehicles

Describe types and purposes of different hand and power tools including: 

  • manual, electric corded/cordless, hydraulic, and pneumatic

Describe how to set up, perform safety checks on power tools including:

  • hand hammers and cold chisels
  • demolition hammers (concrete breaker, jack hammer)
  • nail removers

Describe how to use hand and power tools to remove and prepare materials including:

  • bricks
  • structural timber
  • decorative wood
  • suspended ceilings
  • period wood/plaster pieces
  • concrete rubble

Describe hazards, risks, and controls including:

  • cordon off work area
  • environment
  • earth leakage protection (residual current device)
  • extension and power leads (connectors, trips, continuity test)
  • bricks/walls that are: hard, loose, falling
  • projectiles, hot power tools, dust, vibration, noise, vision, sharp edges, pressurised oil/air leaks
  • PDF/printed extracts from legislation and HSE guides
  • Health & safety responsibilities for employers and employees
  • Example of risk assessment
  • Examples of safe working practices

Describe how to select, use and maintain associated PPE

PPE such as:

  • hard hat, gloves, eyewear, ear defenders, RPE/dust masks, wrist band protector, footwear, hi-visibility clothing, knee protectors, coveralls, roof anchors, and harness with lanyard & shock absorber.

Describe how to clean up and waste disposal


Additional information about this standard

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guides


View related government legislation

  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HASWA) 1974
  • The Work at Height Regulations (WHR) 2005
  • Work at Height (Amended) 2007
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Regulations 2002
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) (1998 UK 1999 NI)
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH )2002
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR ) 1995
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) 2015
  • Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 as amended 2002
  • Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
  • Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005

British Standards

  • BS 6187:2011. Code of practice for full and partial demolition.
  • BS 8437:2005 Code of practice for selection, use and maintenance of personal protection systems and equipment for use in the workplace

Related standards