Tools, Heights and Excavations

New BSA Guidelines on Youth Use of Tools, Work at Heights and Excavations

Power Drill

The use of tools, by any youth or adult, requires training in the proper use of those tools before a project starts. It also requires continuous, qualified adult supervision
and discipline during the project. The BSA recently issued new age appropriate guidelines regarding the use of tools, working at elevations (for instance, on a ladder), and
youth work on excavations. These guidelines are effective immediately and apply to all youth activities in Scouting, including Eagle Scout and other community service


Please be aware that manufacturers’
literature and age and skill restrictions supersede the recommendations in the BSA publication. If there is a conflict, leaders must follow the most restrictive guidelines.

We earlier published our own Longs Peak Council Power Tool Safety Guidelines which can still be used by adults providing supervision of our youth who are using power tools.
It includes both safety considerations that can be used as a checklist to teach our youth the proper use of power tools and a pledge to follow those guidelines.

BSA also published new Service Project Planning Guidelines, a checklist to help you plan that next service project.

The checklist references the Age Guidelines for Tool Use and Work at Elevations or Excavations above. These guidelines should be followed for all Scouting service projects, not just those for an Eagle Scout service project. The guidelines must not be construed to be additional requirements for an Eagle Scout service project, but they do represent elements that should appear on the Eagle Scout candidate’s final project plan from the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927. The next revision of the workbook will incorporate these guidelines.