When you are working around sharp saws, machinery that can sever a limb, and heavy boards, it’s important to be safe and avoid any mistakes that could endanger your health and even your life!
Safety glasses or goggles should be worn whenever power tools are in use and when chiseling, sanding, scraping or hammering overhead. This is very important for anyone wearing contact lenses. Wear ear protectors when using noisy power tools. Some tools operate at noise levels that damage hearing.
Be careful of loose hair and clothing so that it does not get caught in tools; roll your sleeves up and remove jewelry. Keep tools out of the reach of small children.
The proper respirator or face mask should be worn when sanding, sawing or using substances with toxic fumes. Oily rags are spontaneously combustible, so take care when you store and discard them.
Keep blades sharp. A dull blade requires excessive force and can slip which causes accidents.
Always use the right tool for the job. Repair or discard tools with cracks in the wooden handles or chips in the metal parts.
Don't drill, shape or saw anything that isn't firmly secured. Don't abuse your tools.
Do not work with tools when you are tired. That's when most accidents occur. Do not work with tools when you have been using alcohol. Alcohol can skew your judgment. Wait to celebrate after you’ve finished your project! Do not smoke around flammable product like stains and solvents.
Read the owner's manual for all tools and under- stand their proper usage. Unplug all power tools when changing settings or parts.
Take special care regarding the use of the table saw fence settings and the suggestions on how to make cuts using safety guards, push sticks, push blocks, fence straddlers, and feather boards.
The most powerful tool in your shop is your brain, use it. Thinking your cuts and movements through before acting can help save both fingers and scrap wood. Pay attention to your actions. Looking up to watch the shop TV or visitor can result in your hand contacting the blade. Always wait until you have completed your cut before you take your eyes off the blade.
Keep in mind that this is just a hobby and take a break when you feel rushed or frustrated with a project. Mistakes happen when we rush to complete a job. If your saw is resisting the cut, stop and see what’s wrong. A misaligned rip fence or improperly seated throat plate can sometimes cause a board to get stuck in mid cut. Forcing the board in these situations may cause kickback or contact with the blade. Take a moment to evaluate the situation and determine the problem.
Let the tool stop running. Giving the power tool time to wind down after a cut is an often-overlooked safety mistake. Even without power, the spinning blade can still do a lot of damage.
Accidents are caused by inattention, taking chances, bad judgment, fatigue, and horseplay. Other causes are poor instruction (not reading manuals), missing guards, unsuitable clothing, defective equipment, insufficient working space and poor lighting.
A huge step in preventing personal injury is to familiarize yourself with any new tool before using it, read the manual, do a dry run with the machine unplugged. Only use a tool or machine for its intended purpose.
If it is a two person job don't try to do it alone, wait until assistance is available.
Keep a clean shop. A cluttered shop is an accident waiting to happen. Keeping your shop clean will help protect you, and your tools, from tripping hazards. Designate where hand tools are stored, sort nails, screws, and other hardware in containers. Sweep up at the end of the day. Solvent fumes and airborne dust can present health and explosion hazards. Care should be taken to ensure a supply of fresh air and use only explosion proof vent fans.
Just as there are safety procedures you should follow, it helps if you are aware of the most common mistakes newbies make when beginning their wood projects.