Safety Week

For one week each year all of us bloggers take a week out of our regular postings to remind everyone about how important shop safety is. Safety in a shop is a everyday quest that anyone with a interest in woodworking strives for. There are a lot of dangerous tools in a wood shop from our hand tools to the power tools to the wood it self. While most wood workers work safe it never hurts to have a reminder.

No body ever sits out to injury them selfs or someone else while working in their shops, but it happens and it usually when they are in a hurry or just flat out ignore their own common sense and do something that they know is a stupid move. That moment in time when a accident happens can never be undone no matter how much someone wants it to be.

Not only are we responsible for our own safety in the shop, but anyone else that may come into it including our pets. So with that lets all take a little time to have a look around the shop and identify any areas that can be made safer. This is why most of the shops I have worked in have a safety meetings, some only did it once a month while others once a week and it does help with pointing out safety issues. Now I know working in the shops by ourself we can’t have a safety meeting, but we can do safety reviews.

  • Set a side time to make sure all your machines are working in a safe manner
  • Invite your spouse or another woodworker out to the shop and have them point out thing that look like they might be unsafe
  • Make sure you are cleaning up and putting wood and tools away 
  • Make sure you have a first aid kit and phone where you can reach it in a hurry 
  • Take a first aid course at a local red cross if you have never had any first aid training
  • Keep a safety check list and go though it once a month
  • Don’t work when you are tired and don’t work beyond what you are comfortable doing
  • The best tip is just use common sense

All of these are good idea. It pays being prepared in case things do go wrong so familiarize yourself with the kind of injuries that can happen with your machines and being prepared for them and means having more than just a couple of band aids in your first aid kit. I am always amazed that in most of the shops I worked at all they had in their first aid kits was tweezers, band-aids and Tylenol.

I have also noticed in my many years of working around woodworking machines and in shops the biggest and most easily corrected safety issue is clutter, it is hard to be safe when there is scraps on the floor saw dust and sharp tools laying where they can come in contact with ones flesh. Having two young grandsons who like to help me when I am building things and in the garden has made me very aware of this problem and in turn has made me stop and clean up after my self more often. So be safe and enjoy woodworking for many years.



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