You can make woodworking safety and more enjoyable as a hobby or a vocation if you follow some basic rules. All these basic rules generate from common sense but if you fail to follow these rules may cause injury while working with hand tools or power tools.
A wood shop is considered not to be a place of hurry but it should be slow, steady and safe. If you can follow the 10 rules below woodworking will be much safer and enjoyable.
1. Always wear safety equipment
The first and most important safety rule is to wear safety devices while you are in work. Hearing protection for noisy tools are router and surface planers and for eyesight you should wear safety glasses. When you are going to have finishing task over the wood work you must wear latex gloves.
Safety glass is so important that when you enter the wood shop you wear it and keep it until you leave the shop. Similarly the safety hand gloves are very important to protect your hand and mind that hands are the most active part of your body.
2. Wear appropriate clothing
While working in wood shop you should always avoid loose clothing as there may be great chance of attire to be entangled saw blade or cutting head. Wear clothes in such way that is tight but comfortable and that protect from wood chips. At the beginning of wood work you must avoid neck chain, bracelets and other jewelry.
3. Avoid drug and alcohol
Intoxicating drinks or food like wine, drug, and cigarette should be completely avoided which is dangerous. However if you are influenced by intoxicant you can avail at remote distance. While you are working on a project you should avoid temptation of drinking a beer even until the project finishes.
You will be much less likely to encounter a problem when you are working with a power tool.
4. Disconnect power before blade change
Whenever you intent to change a blade or a bit disconnect the electrical connection of power tool. Many woodworkers have lost their fingers due to the mistake of disconnecting electric connection which is a very simple rule to follow. Some woodworkers even when affixing wrenches never forget to disconnect power.
5. Use sharp blades and bits
It is very common sense that when the saw blade is dull the woodworker has to work hard to complete the job. In such cases the tool will more likely to kick-back.
6. Using extension cord
You should use always a heavy-duty extension cord. This way you will be forced to use this cord with every power tool separately. So in every use of a power tool you are to use this cord with plugging and unplugging. With such practices you will be cognizant to disconnect power when changing saw blades and bits.
7. Checking Nails, screws and other metals
It is very important to check the stock of small items like nails, screws, staples and other before you start a cut. Spinning saw blades and nails are not a good mix which can damage cutting head and the stock.
It also causes the stock to kik-back, which is a main cause to injury. You can inspect the stock position before cutting even with the help of a metal detector.
8. Should always work against the cutter
Now a days power tools are made in such a way the directions of movement of tool and wood are opposite. As a result cutting heads will be working just from opposite direction that the wood moves. We can say that a saw blade or a router bit need to cut against the movement and not with the movement.
9. Don’t reach over a blade
While you are working with a miter saw or table saw never put your hands near the moving blade. You might be trying to remove the waste or cut offs and any accident may occur. It is better to stop the saw blade and using a scrap or a stick you can easily remove those things from blade. Since the switches can malfunction you must wait until the saw blade is completely stops.
10. Avoid distraction
Though the distraction is very common to our life and you must be very careful of it especially while you are on job. When you are called or distracted by somebody during working with a power tool you should come to a safe conclusion and then deal with distraction. It may be very dangerous to take away your attention while on job.
Safety measures in brief:
- Always wear goggles, safety glasses or face shield for eyes protection.
- Wear hearing protective device to protect from severe noise out the working power tools.
- Wear hand gloves in order to protect yourself from splinters and never use near rotating blades and other moving parts which are very dangerous.
- Use protective footwear only when needed.
- Make sure that the guard is in safe condition and it is in exact position.
- Make sure that all the equipments are grounded properly.
- Check carefully that the wrench and keys are removed out of machine before the power is on.
- Inspect the stock of nails and screws before planning, cutting, and routing activities.
- Make sure that all machine posses start and stop buttons within reasonable distance of operator.
- Ensure that all blades and tools are clean and sharp.
- Use a push stick to push down the waste materials.
- Turn power switch off and unplug before you change, repair, clean any blade or bit.
- Ensure proper lighting and ventilation in the working place in order to avoid accident.
- Use extension table or roller support in case of large work piece.
- Woodworking machine should be placed suitably for removing sawdust.
- Electric power should be place safely above head or at the roof.
- Keep work area clean, well lit and swept.
You can learn more about woodworking safety rules in different woodworking magazine too.