The greatest priority in woodworking is safety. If you like jumping around in your shop, you must stop and give a full attention to the power tools when they are in operation. You’ll certainly enjoy woodworking as a safe hobby if you don’t neglect these safety procedures.
I’ve listed here, 6 main keys to woodworking safety.
This should be your most important safety rule. If you’re cutting a board and you feel you are not well-positioned, stop it right there. Adjust yourself to a better position and figure out a perfect way to hold the wood firmly.
If you eventually lose grip on the wood, you must know the direction it will go to, so that you can position yourself away from that direction.
Also, avoid kickbacks from your table saw which is the most common injury from this tool. When kickback occurs, wood may be thrown backwards in the direction of the blade.
Don’t stand behind the blade, but by the side of the blade. Be at alert for wood trapped between the rip fence and the rotating blade as the wood is being cut.
If a board slips from your grip while in a machine, you risk being injured if you try to save it.
Always conduct test running without the tool being in operation to know your position throughout the process, from powering ON of the machine, to passing the board through the blade, removing the board, and putting OFF the machine. Go over the process by conducting an imaginary test run.
Safety glasses should be worn when working with power tools. Use sound blocker such as earmuffs to protect your ears, because constant exposure to noise may cause tinnitus or complete hearing loss.
Always wear a dust mask to protect the lungs from sawdust or preferably, you can get a dust remover with dedicated extractor.
Wear short sleeves, trim long hairs, and don’t use dangling jewelry. Avoid using hand gloves, because controlling of wood is safer with bare hands.
Tools should be properly aligned and kept in a good condition. In a table saw, ensure that the table saw blade is properly aligned with the rib fence to avoid kickbacks.
Caution people to stay outside your shop when your tool is running. In this case, a “Do not disturb” sign should be placed at the entrance of your shop.
Power tools have safety locks which must be utilized when they are idle, and it’s important for children. You can unplug them from the power source when not in use. Barricade your shop’s entrance to prevent any unwanted entry when you are out.
If you always work alone, ensure that you have a distress signal or get your phone close to you in case of an emergency.
Alcohol and drug use should be totally avoided while woodworking. If you feel tired or dizzy, suspend the work indefinitely, to avoid causing injury to yourself or making avoidable mistakes.
Before going into woodworking, ensure that you eat well, have enough sleep, and stay sound, because the job involves good mental focus and strength.
If you feel you’re not doing your best when working on a piece, take some minutes break, step out and take a walk. You’ll be surprise that your mood will improve quickly, and this will help you avoid mistakes.
Every tool has a user manual, go through it to understand the safety instructions for using the tools. All the safety precautions you may need for your tool can be found in the manual.
If you know you cannot operate a tool, or you’re not sure of your safety in using it, stay away from it.
If you follow these safety precautions, protect yourself from accidents, and learn about the working of machines, you’ll not be afraid of using power tools anymore.
Happy woodworking and stay safe.