It doesn’t matter what type of hobby you may be involved in you must always be aware of any potential dangers and safety factors. In the case of woodworking, there are many potential hazards and you must be aware of them not only for your safety but also for the safety of others.
a) Alcohol and tools just don’t make a good team. Avoid the consumption of alcohol whenever you are going to be working with your tools no matter how minor they are. Even with a chisel or a knife, you can get some pretty bad cuts. Your mind needs to be clear when involved in this hobby. The same applies for prescriptive drugs for example that may cause drowsiness.
b) Observe the conditions that you are working in. Sawdust as well as toxic fumes can be deadly to your health. The dangers with these are that the results they can create may not be evident immediately. Health hazards such as these can show their results years later. Use only anti explosion fans and make sure you have a good supply of fresh air.
c) No doubt you have seen a lot of protective gear on the shelves where you buy your equipment and supplies. These items are not just fads and can be important to your health. Items like protection for your ears and safety glasses should be a priority. Something as simple as using a push stick when you are work up close to the blade can save a limb.
d) Don’t socialize when you are working in your woodwork shop, even having a television or radio on can be a bad idea. Anything that could distract you and take your attention away from what you are doing could lead to a potential accident.
e) It is imperative that you keep your shop clean. If you leave tools, lying on the floor there is a good chance you are going to trip. If you are, hanging tools make sure they are secure and you don’t run the risk of them falling on you. Watch for cords try to keep them away from areas where you are going to be walking. Sweep up your debris. Sawdust can make a floor like a skating rink.
f) There will be times that your won’t seem like it is cutting right or it is resisting. Don’t get frustrated and start pushing the wood. Stop and inspect the equipment to see what the problem is. If you continue to force the wood, it could spring back and hit you.
g) Think about what you are cutting. Don’t let your thoughts stray you must concentrate at all times.
h) If you are in a hurry then you should not be working. This is when accidents are most likely to happen.
I) Wear the right clothing. If you have long hair keep it tied back. Remove your jewelry before working with your tools.
j) Make sure your power tools have completely stopped before touching them or setting them down.
Just good common sense thinking can prevent the majority of accidents that can occur in the workshop.
Eugene Walker –
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