Just like any other occupation woodworking is not merely a simple profession to earn money, rather it is a form of art and the woodworkers are considered as the artists as they possess the ability to craft a simple piece of wood with their extraordinary craftsmanship. But woodworking is such an occupation where safety is the key feature. Along with the pleasure of creating new wooden products there lies a lot of risk factors too. There is danger in every step in woodworking as the surrounding is filled with several sharp tools and blades including too many power devices as most of the traditional woodworking tools have transformed into electric driven tools by the help of advanced tool technologies. Therefore, the work environments for the woodworkers become a bit complicated. Because, besides concentrating upon their particular work they need to keep eyes on maintaining proper safety measures also.
Whether you are a beginner entrepreneur or a Dexter professional woodworker, in both the cases safety should be the prior concern to make your woodworking projects successful. Not only your own, it is also important to take care of the safety of your fellow workers that are working alongside. Every single individual must follow the safety instructions while working with woodworking tools like electric saws, drills or any other power tools as woodworkers have risks from temporary electric sockets that may cause sudden electrical hazards or getting wounded while using hand or power tools. Or it might be possible that any woodworker’s jewellery or cloth is stuck in the moving machine and he or she is unable to rescue ownself from it. Moreover, not that woodworkers only have risks from machineries. It is quite possible that any woodworker may face breathing problems from overpowering wood glue, paint or resin smell or sawdust particles may hit on someone’s eyes.
Regardless to say that no workshop that is surrounded with different sharpened equipment and power tools is a place of any kind of carelessness. There is no chance of ignoring the safety precautions while working in a woodworking workshop. You should be very much committed towards your woodworking projects as well as handling working tools. It is essential to be aware of the safety instructions while operating new power tools. Therefore, keeping all the possible risk factors in mind, we have tried to list up a few essential safety guidelines for the woodworkers.
So, let’s start briefing them:
Plan for emergency situations
Prepare in advance for the emergencies. Make proper precaution plans on how to get rid of unexpected situations or accidents while working. Stick emergency numbers to your workshop’s wall, so that anyone can call for help to take the situation under cover.
Wear proper work uniform
Avoid wearing loose clothes while working in the workshop. Loosen clothes might be stuck in the spinning machines and may cause unbearable injuries to the woodworkers. Wear slim fit jumpsuit types clothing along with a good pair of steel front boots to make yourself fully ready and protected from the machineries.
Good communication with your nearest help
Make good relationships with your fellow workers as well the other nearby shop owners. So that you can ask for help in case of emergencies. Of course help them back when it’s your turn.
Use safety eye glasses
Wear proper safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying sawdusts and wood particles. Wooden dusts are really irritating when stuck in the eyes. Eyes are the main components for woodcrafting, so must take care of them during working. You can know more about such safety measures and more on woodworking at theedgecutter run by Bill Baum.
Keep the working areas clean
Try to keep your workplace organized and clean. If your workshop is cluttered, the chances of mismanagement and accidents would increase.
Keep first aid kit at your workplace
Set up a first aid corner inside your workshop along with having an emergency first aid kit that includes burnols, saline solution, antiseptic creams, gauges, band-aids, preliminary life saving medicines etc.
Wear gloves to protect hands from getting frictions while carrying wooden products. Sometimes those chemical coatings on the processed woods or natural discharges of the raw woods can cause irritation and allergic reactions to the hands. A good pair of gloves can save your hands from facing such problems.
Proper disposal system for sawdust or wood particles
Make sure that the produced sawdust particles are removed properly everyday after the cutting and shaping process is done. Otherwise, such heaps of sawdust particles may cause lung disease in the long run.
Wear face masks
Use face shields and protective masks to reduce the inhalation of sawdust particles. Additionally, acidic and strong fumes of wood finishing oils and paints are really disturbing sometimes.
Use ear protection
Most of the power tools produce too much noise while in operation. Such an excessive amount of sounds is no doubt harmful for our ears’ health and that may lead to permanent hearing loss. So it is advisable to use ear muffs to protect your ears from overpowering electronic sounds.
Follow the tool operating instructions
Respect the mechanism of the tools while using them and never try to operate them without knowing the proper handling procedures. Never take the risk to use any power tools in the wrong way. As such tools are delicate and expensive enough, it will cause your monetary loss too.
Don’t use blunt blades and saws
Never take chances with blunt blades and saws. Those would kill both your time and effort. Using sharpened blades and saws quicken your work schedules and make the cuts and creases perfect.
Be cautious while working on existing wooden constructions
If you are planning to work on pre-constructed wooden structures such as walls, cabinets etc, eliminate the possible electric connections from them. Otherwise, it would be dangerous if direct power links come into the contact of power tools as frictions made of the both can cause fires.
Get a proper ventilation system
Arrange for a good ventilation system inside your workshop, so that the workers get enough fresh air while working. Usually the atmosphere becomes very suffocating inside the woodworking place due to wooden dusts. Install large sized fans including other ventilation facilities to make the environment healthy inside the workshop.
Avoid indulging wet atmosphere inside the workshop
Be cautious of making the inside area of your workshop humid or wet. As the workshop is surely surrounded with plenty of power tools, wet surfaces can cause short circuits and electrify the entire area. Moreover, the watery surface would be slippery and could lead to physical injuries for the workers.
Arrange proper lighting
Your workplace must have sufficient lights to make the measurements, cuttings, shaping, crafting properly. Poor lighting system means you are more prone to make mishaps. Instead of using temporary lighting attachments arrange hard wiring fixed shop lights to avoid fire hazards because of overheated bulbs or lamps.
Try to avoid electrical trips
Make sure that all of the electronic equipment is properly connected to the main power point. If you are working at a distant place from the main power connector socket, try to secure the extension wires with the electrical or gaffer tapes in order to avoid tripping hazards.
Avoid taking sedatives, drugs and alcohols while working
Do not consume drugs, alcohols or sedative medicines that make you drowsy during work. A fraction of second might lead to a dangerous mishap that won’t be repaired ever. In case you are on certain medications, better to take leave from work until your physical condition gets normal or avoid handling machines.
Keep away all of your distractions during handling machines
Any kind of power can be proven dangerous if mishandled. However the working tools are, they must need extreme attention during operation. So, the woodworker should be very careful while working with such automatic power tools and must keep aside all kinds of possible distractions like phone calls, talking with someone or thinking over something during operating machines.
Keep along your safety tools while using electronic machineries
You must take care of hands while working with sharpened power tools. So, you should keep the right equipment next to you in order to keep your hands away from the overpowering electronic machineries. Such safety tools include miter gauges, featherboards, custom build sleds, push sticks, push blocks etc. These tools would help you to keep your hands away from the spinning blades as much as possible and also hold the workpiece to the place where it needs to be.
Eliminate stock from the wooden products before cutting
Examine made up wooden products that might need to be repaired before cutting or reshaping them with power tools and remove nails, screws or any other metal connectors while cutting as those existing stock might kick back to the spinning blades and might break them and cause injuries to both the worker and the machine.
Turn off power connector
Disconnect the electric source by switching it off from it’s main link before changing blades or any other attachment of the power tools you are working with. It is advisable to disconnect the plug-ins while attaching or fixing your machines manually, otherwise it can be hazardous in case of power connection malfunction. Hope, the above stated precautions can be helpful to you.