Woodworking is a very enjoyable hobby and, if the correct safety measures are taken, it can be a safe one too. No matter how well you know your materials and tools, safety should never be taken lightly when doing any woodworking project. Make sure you pay close attention to the following safety tips to ensure that you are working in a safe environment.
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Wear the correct safety gear
Eyes: Safety glasses are made with strong frames and polycarbonate lenses. These glasses are able to protect your eyes from any shard of wood or other material. Paired with a face shield, you have effective facial protection.
Skin: Your skin is able to absorb chemicals; therefore when working around certain types of glues and chemicals you should wear gloves- preferably nitrile and neoprene gloves.
Lungs: Dust masks can protect your lungs against particles; however, you will still be susceptible to other forms of contamination. When working with very hazardous materials, an air-purifying respirator is able to protect your lungs effectively.
Hearing: Earmuffs, foam plugs and other forms of hearing protection can help reduce noise.
Keep your workspace clean
Declutter and sweep your work area every time you use it. If you have a clean space with good lighting, your workspace will be safer.
Plan what you need to do and what equipment you need
If you are going to use power tools, make sure you know what you are going to use them for and plan your moves before switching them on. Also, ensure that you use the equipment in the right state of mind; if you are tired, irritable, hurried or under the influence of alcohol, do not operate any tools.
Don’t use too many cords
Try stick to 1 extension cord; this enables you to unplug cords when you need to use another tool. Always disconnect the power before you attempt to change a blade to avoid cutting off your fingers. Also, make sure that all the cords are in good condition before switching on machinery. You will need to replace a damaged cord before using a machine.
Be careful around blades
Blunt tools are dangerous. When you use sharp tools, you will have cleaner cuts. When working with equipment such as table or miter saws, don’t put your hands near the blade. If you need to remove waste or cut-offs, wait for the blade to stop and use other material, such as a push stick, to push the waste away from the board.
Make sure the wood is stripped of any metal
Check the wood to make sure that screws, nails, etc. are not in the wood as this can damage your equipment and material as well as cause injury.