Woodworking is a great hobby that can yield some pretty cool projects. However, you should never take safety lightly in the shop. Many people lose body parts and even their lives in woodworking accidents.
Always turn the power off and unplug a blade or machine before inspecting, cleaning, adjusting, or removing waste. It’s also important to wait until a moving blade has stopped before reaching into it. High quality wood, which you can purchase from Alderfer Lumber Company, must also be used to further reduce the chances of accidents happening.
Wear the Right PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a critical part of a worker’s safety at work. It includes a variety of items from hard hats and steel-capped safety boots to goggles and ear muffs. Each piece of PPE must meet specific requirements based on the job. For example, plumbers wear rubber gloves and work pants to protect themselves from boiling water, wood splinters and electrical shocks while electricians wear appropriate clothing as well as face masks, safety glasses and insulated tools to stay safe from dangerous sparks.
Workers should have access to appropriate PPE for their jobs and be trained on how to use it. The equipment should be comfortable, easy to store and in good working condition. It’s also important to ensure that workers can wear multiple pieces of PPE without it interfering with each other, e.g. wearing a pair of eye glasses and ear muffs may disturb the seal on a respirator).
While it is important to minimize distractions while working with power tools, workers should always have their PPE handy in case of an emergency. Additionally, workers should keep a phone (preferably one with an extension landline) in the shop and have numbers for emergency services and poison control centres nearby. It is recommended that workers turn off the ringer on their phones while they are in the workshop to avoid any possible interruptions.
It is also important that workers don’t work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even though it is tempting to finish a project with a beer or a glass of wine while you are at the workshop, it’s extremely unsafe for you and those around you.
Store Your Tools Properly
Having proper storage for your tools in a clean, dry place will prevent them from becoming damaged or having parts broken off. In addition to that, it will keep your tools ready for the next project and increase their lifespan. This is particularly true for power tools as moisture can lead to premature wear and tear.
It is important to always have an area in your workshop set aside for storing your tools properly. This will not only keep them out of the way but also help you remember where they are. This will save you time when it comes to finding the tool you need and preventing you from stepping on or tripping over them while working in your workshop.
Always wipe down your tools before putting them away, this will remove any dirt and grime from the surface and also allow you to check for any damage. Make a habit of doing this after every use and you’ll be surprised how much longer your tools will last.
When storing your tools you should always keep them in a safe location, away from children and pets as they could be injured by them. You should also avoid storing them in a humid environment as this can affect the electrical workings of your tools and lead to damage or even fire.
Always have your woodworking manual handy when working with a new tool. This will give you a good idea of how to properly operate and care for it. It will also give you an understanding of the potential hazards involved with this tool, such as flammable sawdust or splinters that can cause injury.
Keep Your Hands and Arms Away From the Rotating Blade
When working with wood, you need to keep your hands and arms away from the rotating blade. If you do not, you could end up permanently disabling yourself or someone else. This is one of the most common reasons why people get injured while working with power tools, especially saws. This is why you need to scan the wood you’re using for any dangerous scraps or sharp areas. It is also important to take the time to properly position and adjust your guards.
The first thing you need to do when entering a workshop is put on your safety glasses. These will protect your eyes from sawdust and other materials that can fly into your face when the machine is running.
You should also remove any items from your body that can get caught in the spinning blades, such as dangling necklaces or lanyards. Even simple things like a watch or a necklace can get caught and pulled into the machine, leading to severe injuries. Lastly, you should leave your cellphone at home when working in a shop because it can be distracting and potentially dangerous to answer that call or post that new Instagram photo.
It’s also essential to minimize distractions while working with any power tool, but this is particularly true when you are using a saw. It only takes a second to look down at your phone or check your email and you could miss the blade if it’s starting to kickback. You should also avoid drinking alcohol or taking any drugs while working with power tools, as they can impair your reaction times and slow your thought processes. Even legitimate prescription medication can interfere, so it’s important to read the label and follow the warnings.
Keep the Work Area Clean
Woodworking can be a fun and rewarding hobby or vocation, but it’s important to keep safety in mind at all times. By following these simple rules, you can minimize your risk of injuries and make the process safer and more enjoyable for yourself and others who use the space.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but making sure that your workshop is clean and organized can prevent many accidents from occurring. This is especially true when it comes to keeping the work area free of sawdust, offcuts and other debris. This material can be a tripping hazard and can also be hazardous to your health if it gets in the air where you breathe.
Make it a point to sweep the area frequently and to clean up any spills immediately. Additionally, it’s a good idea to label your bins so that you can easily find the tools you need when you’re working. This will reduce the amount of time you have to spend searching for your tools and can help ensure that no one else accidentally steps on them.
Finally, it’s crucial to stay hydrated while you’re working on projects in the shop. This will improve your focus and your ability to think clearly and will decrease the likelihood that you will injure yourself due to fatigue or drowsiness.
It’s also a good idea to ask for help from a friend when you need it. Doing so can prevent serious injuries caused by trying to do something beyond your physical capabilities, such as reaching over a running blade. It’s also a good idea to stay off alcohol and recreational drugs while you are working on projects in the shop as these substances can impair your judgment and slow down your thought processes.
Have a Plan for Emergency Situations
Woodworking can be a very enjoyable hobby, but it is also dangerous when carelessness and ignorance of safety rules are present. While most of these safety tips are rudimentary and common sense, they must be adhered to in order to prevent injury and make the work process more efficient and safe for everyone involved.
It is important to always be completely focused when using power tools as any distraction can ruin the outcome of your work. Talking to your friends while working, listening to music, or even looking at something in the distance can put you at risk. Taking your eyes off the tool for just a second could cause it to ruin the piece of wood you are cutting or even hurt yourself as the blade comes to a stop. Having a plan for emergency situations is crucial to protect yourself and others when working with wood.
Make sure to have a fire extinguisher near every major exit from your shop. Also make sure you have a way to call 911 in case of an emergency. Make sure to leave your shop if there is a fire as it can quickly get out of control and burn down the entire building.
Finally, it is important to never work under the influence. Combining alcohol and drugs with power tools is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injuries. Even having a cold beer in the shop can be dangerous as it will impair your judgment and reaction time when handling any type of power tool. This can be a big reason why some handyman services do not accept clients who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.