A woodworker will be able to ensure woodworking safety after knowing the adequate woodworking safety rules and tips. You can’t disobey the essentiality of woodworking safety if you are a woodworker. As a woodworker, you have to follow some safety rules and safety tips besides you need to be introduced with some safety equipment as an accident will never come after informing you. Your consciousness can save you from being injured.
Working with wood is not simple. A woodworker needs to use so many tools and machines which are not only hard to use but also may be very dangerous if he doesn’t have the proper knowledge to use it. Any woodworker getting proper knowledge about the tool he wants to use and following some rules and tips can generate a great output without any occurrence.
Are you a new woodworker and do you think it is very difficult to work with wood?
Actually, every work is difficult but if any worker practices the right rules and procedures then he will find it easy to enjoy his work so much.
Woodworking Safety Rules
There, in this post, we have an ultimate woodworking safety guideline and as a woodworker, you should know the following rules and regulations and always should maintain those.
Fully Set Up Your Mind Before Starting Your Work:
As a woodworker, you must have to set up your mind for working before starting work. Without a working mood, there is not only has the possibility of getting bad outputs but also has the possibility of getting injuries during work. Like everybody, a woodworker must have anger, sorrow, and distraction as part of life. Such things should be controlled during work. If the situation is like in the way that you can become sorry or angry you must have to stop your working first. You also will have to ensure that your power machine or tool has stopped running completely and surely you have plugged it off. You should keep your phone near your hand but not in a running mood. During work never try to make any phone call or receive any call. Never listen to any kind of music, jokes or news via radio or phone during your work. You must have to refresh your mind and get a working mood before starting your work. It isn’t only the first but one of the most important woodworking safety rules.
Environmental Set Up:
The environment of your working area is so much important. Without a fascinating working environment, the output will not full-fill your expectation. Set up your working environment is such a way of woodworking safety that it helps you ensure all other safety rules.
wood scraps, clutter, oil spills, etc can make your working area and floor dirty by removing them in a regular basis the whole area should be kept clean. To clean off sawdust or wood scraps from the machine a worker needs to use a brush without cleaning them by bare hands.
There need sufficient space in your workplace around the equipment which will enable you to work smoothly without any disturbance and without bumping into other workers or equipment. So, you have to ensure it that you have sufficient space in your workplace.
The floor space around the equipment needs to be sufficient and that will enable you to machine the equipment with the size of the workpiece smoothly and being processed safely without bumping into other workers or equipment.
You will need good lighting in your workplace to see the workpiece, cutting blades, and machine controls clearly. Shining in the operator’s eyes or cause any glare and reflections in workers eyes can be reduced by position or shading lighting sources perfectly.
Be Enough Expert on an Individual Tool Before Using That:
You should not use any tool if you do not have enough experience or proper knowledge about it. Without being an expert, using a tool is threatening. You should only use such kinds of woodworking machines that you have been trained to use properly and safely. You have to bear in mind that without proper knowledge you can get injuries. To achieve the knowledge you can participate in different classes or can see the video tutorials or paid tutorials.
Follow Manufacturer’s Safety Rules Before Operating a Tool:
You have to read the manufacturer’s manual of a newly purchased woodworking machine carefully to be sure that you have understood all the instructions your manufacturer has given you before attempting to use that tool or machine. Yes, you can be a super expert woodworker but before using a newly installed machine, reading the manufacturer’s manual is a good practice of woodworking safety. You can ask any question to your machine manufacturer’s contact email if you have any doubt about using the tool you have already purchased from their company or unless you do not understand any part of their manual. You can also seek training on how to properly use a new type of tool. Sometimes Tool retailers have arranged classes in their stores. You can also watch videos or read books, magazine, articles to get the proper knowledge about your newly purchased equipment. You can also join different Woodworking forums or discussion groups to enrich your knowledge.
let’s enjoy a short video tutorial with few tips about woodworking safety.
Wearing Right Clothing:
Before starting your work with wood and different kinds of working tools or equipment like a router, a table saw, sanders, drill machine, etc you must have to wear proper clothing and then you should start your work.
Thus you won’t be disturbed with your work and the chance of getting injuries or accidents will decrease. Proper clothing, suitable with your working machine, is so much important during work and this procedure will also develop the working environment for you.
Maintain Appropriate Equipment:
There are different kinds of safety equipment available for woodworkers which have different essentiality. You have to maintain such kinds of equipment during using different tools or working machines to ensure woodworking safety. Gloves, dust masks, ear protector, face protector, etc should be used in a suitable situation.
We have a complete woodworking safety equipment guideline for you in our other post.
Loose Clothing and Jewelry Should be Avoided:
You should always wear short sleeves in your workplace because long or loose sleeves can be entangled in blades or on a workpiece which is spinning on a lathe. Loose clothing can hamper your work besides they can cause a great injury for you. So you should avoid loose clothing as much as possible. There are many kinds of jewelry like a chain, bracelets, hand watches, rings, etc which may occur injury for a woodworker. Such kind of things can easily and quickly get caught with blades, bits or pulleys and any other parts of heavy working equipment. If it’s happened a worker will not get any chance to save his hand from getting an injury. So a woodworker must take this thing seriously and put off all kinds of jewelry before starting his work. You should also avoid wearing gloves (Where not necessary), ties, scarves, etc.
Appropriate Footwear Protection is Essential:
When you work with wood on a project you need to stand on the floor for hours. You may be used to with this but sometimes you may feel boring. Sometimes a working material can sleep on your foot which can bring foot injuries for you. If any worker takes adequate footwear protection he can easily chop with his working environment for hours without feeling the disturbance and thus he can be protected from being foot injured.
A sheet of plywood can slip from your hands or unconsciously a hammer can be dropped on your foot which can cause injury for you. Also, a sharp chisel can drop accidentally on your feet which can cut your feet and give you toes injuries. Leather boots or shoes or steel-toe shoes can easily protect you in those situations and can easily save you from injuries. So a woodworker must care about this matter and wear adequate footwear protection before starting his work. It is so much alarming to start your work wearing sandals, open-toed shoes, on barefoot or without taking any footwear protection in a woodworking shop.
Long Hair should keep Tied Back:
Hair is part of the human body. We are lucky because God doesn’t create us as baled and has given us beautiful hair! A man can keep his hair long and it is natural for a woman to keep his hair long. A man or woman who works as a woodworker can keep his or her hair long. It does not matter but it is the matter that if your hair is long you must have to put them tied during your woodworking. It is so much dangerous to keep your long hair open during working with heavy equipment. Can you imagine the moment, your hair is kept open and it has entangled in tools or spinning workpiece?
It is just awful to think so.
I think now you should realize the importance of keeping your hair tied back during your work.
Anti-Fatigue Mats Can be Used:
When a worker will work for prolonged periods of time on hard shop floors like concrete can get cumulative negative health effects on his feet and spine which can create an injury and a negative impact on his work. Anti-fatigue mats can be placed in front of your most-used tools, workbenches, and assembly tables to solve this kind of problem and create an enjoyable working place or environment.
In the workplace, you should choose mats which have tapered edges instead of blunt square edges so that you can prevent trip hazards.
Fire Extinguisher Should be kept in the Workplace:
In every workplace, a fire extinguisher is a useful thing at the moment of a fire accident. In your wood workplace, you must need to keep fire extinguisher as a part your workplace’s or shop’s set up. When you will plan for it at the very beginning of your working area’s environment set up always try to choose a large ABC rated models which can be used on a wide range of fires.
You can also install photoelectric smoke detectors because they are best suited for woodworking shops. When you will install a photoelectric smoke detector you have to bear in mind that it should be away from sawing or sanding areas.
Avoid Drugs and Alcohol or Any Other Impairment:
A woodworker always has to work with power tools and sharp blades. He needs fully concentrate on his work while his machine has a spinning blade.
Can you Imagine that you remaining under the influence of drug, alcohol, medication, impairments or any other intoxicants has just started your work with heavy tools which has running and spinning blade?
It is awful to think.
Like our thinking it is so much dangerous for a worker to make this decision to start working with such kind of condition.
Workers should not start their work as long as they are in the influence of drugs while thinking of drinking alcohol or even beer during work is just out of mind.
It is directly a threat to him from himself. Drugs Can Impair your reaction time, judgment, vision or coordination and such kind of condition of your are so much dangerous during working with heavy tools. Even, smoking during work should be controlled and should be continued after complete the project work.
If you are in the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be too out of it to see whether you are doing right or wrong. Inadvertently using the wrong tool may bring huge destruction for you and your working.
Must Disconnect Power Before Changing Blades:
Sometimes you will need to change a blade or bit on a power tool.
What will you do?
Will you do it unconsciously without disconnecting the electricity from your power tool?
When you need to change a blade or bit on your power tool at first disconnect it from electricity then ensure it by checking that the switch is off as the switch can malfunction and accidentally get turned on. Then you should change the blade or change bit of your power tool.
It is a simple work or simple idea to follow but you will find that there are many workers who have lost their fingers or faced even more serious injuries ignoring or forgetting this simple rule or technique.
Try to Use Single Extension Cord:
In your workplace, you should use a single heavy-duty extension cord for all tools. If you use an individual extension cord for the individual tool, it may make you confused at the moment of essentiality and it can be a tripping hazard. When you will use one single extension cord you will be forced to switch the cord from tool to tool before the tool will start working.
This will help you remember to plug and unplug the power when you will move from one tool to another and thus you will become more cognizant of the need to disconnect the power when you need to change blade or bit.
Sharp Blades and Bits Should be Used:
It is just like a worker’s common sense that when he will change his blades or bits from dull or blunt to sharper. When the blades or bits are not sharper as much as they should be a worker will find his work difficult and risky. Actually, it can be a reason for an accident and being injured. To ensure woodworking safety you must need to use sharp blades and bits.
If the blades or bits are dull the tools and workers will have to work harder and more than expected time to complete his desired project. When a worker will work with a dull or blunt blade or bit with broken or missing teeth or cutting edges the tool will be more likely to kick-back or bind where a sharper cutting tool will provide a worker with a cleaner cut. Besides safety advantages, a worker will find it beneficial to complete his project perfectly by using sharp blades and bits instead of using blunt or dull blades or bits.
A saw blade which you will find with missing teeth must be defective which will cause the missing teeth to break loose, otherwise, they may have pieces of carbide or steel still loosely attached and that should be ejected during the next time of using the tool. The same can be applied to router bits. Those blades or bits should be repaired if it is possible or they should be thrown away and a new one should be bought before next use.
Always Check for Nails, Screws, and Other Metals:
When a worker is determined to start his work and just has prepared to cut or sawing through, he should always check the stock for nails, screws, staples or any other metal.
If a worker starts his work without checking for such kinds of metals it will cause the stock to kick back. The cutting head and the stock will be damaged and the worker will get injuries. It is a common reason for workers injuries. In this case, a metal detector should be used.
Always Work Against the Cutter:
A woodworking power tool is designed in that way that the direction of a piece of wood will move through the tool while the cutting head will move to the opposite direction. So, you have to ensure it that the saw blade or router bit cuts against the motion of the wood or stock, not with the wood or stock.
Never Reach Over a Blade to Remove Cut-Offs:
When a worker works on a table saw or miter saw or others which have moving blades he needs to remove waste or cut-offs. It is a simple matter.
Just think for a moment, the blade is moving and he has attempted to remove the cut-offs with his bare hand. It is just awful to imagine. A worker must switch off his tool and he has to ensure it that the blade has completely stopped moving then he can remove the waste or cut-offs from the blade but never with his bare hands, with a push stick or piece of scrap. Sometimes the switches can inadvertently bump or malfunction and you have to remain conscious about this matter.
Keep Your Tools Properly Maintained and Adjusted:
Your tools should always be kept properly maintained and adjusted. Tools those have not properly maintained or adjusted can create safety hazards like kickback or loose cutter heads being ejected. You must have to ensure that the table saw fences are aligned parallel to the blade and splitters are aligned with the table saw blade. You will also have to keep bandsaw blades properly tensioned during use and router collects are securely tightened around router bits.
Properly Stocked First Aid Kit Should be Kept in The Workplace:
You should keep a properly stocked first aid kit in your workplace or shop. It can be the most important thing at the moment of essentiality. A properly stocked first aid kit should include an assortment of bandages, gauze, tape, band-aids, eye wash, eyecup, disinfectant ointment, scissors, fine tweezers for removing splinters, instant cold compresses, and a plastic bag for keeping amputated fingers.
Try to Listen to your Fear:
When you work in your workshop fear is your best friend if you care about and your fear can probably save you from something worse. Listening to fear is one of the best practice of woodworking safety.
To use a hard-working machine depends on your knowledge, skill, and experience. If you have enough knowledge, skill or experience you will be confident enough to use a tool. If you don’t feel confident using a tool and feel fear to make use of it then it will be better for you avoiding to use the tool. You can properly be knowledge, skilled and experienced then you should try to use the tool. Thus caring about your fear you can save yourself from unexpected accidents or occurrences.
Besides following the woodworking safety rules a woodworker should always try to maintain some tips. There are some tips for ensuring woodworking safety.
- You should never try to make your machine’s adjustments while the machine is running or powered with electricity. At first, you need to turn off the machine and unplug it then you can adjust blades, bits, or guides.
- Always try to clean the shop floor after every use of a power tool so that sawdust does not create slippery floors. You have to keep stuff off your workshop floor so that you can avoid creating trip hazards. Never run extension cords or dust collection hoses in walking paths.
- Adhesives, solvents, finishes, etc are flammables and they should be stored in metal flammables cabinets. You also should keep them stored away from ignition sources.
- You must have to use the appropriate size and type of blades and bits. Otherwise, you can get injuries. If you forcefully use a wide blade to cut a tight radius on a band saw, the blade will jump off the wheels and probably may contact your hands or arms. It can be a reason for your great injury. You should never use panel raising router bits in a hand-held router instead of using a router table.
- When you will use a table saw, you will have to use proper body positioning. During use, a table saw when a tool catches a workpiece and ejects it back to you it is called kickback. You must have to stand one side of the blade and not directly in line with it to remain out of the path of a wooden projectile to avoid kickback.
- A woodworker should never reach across his body when he will use a miter or radial arm saw. If you try to reach across your body to hold a board or to pull down the saw blade, your arm will be in the path of the blade and easily it will injure you. You should never let your hands and arms to come within six inches of the blade.
- You should always use the appropriate speed for router bits. Never turn a router at top speed when you will use large bits.
- You have to confirm that the jointer guard is in position and is working. Never try to pass your hands directly over jointer cutting heads. Always try to use push sticks or a push block to run the stock through the jointer. Allowing your thumb or the palm of your hand to hang over the end of the stock can be a reason of injury for you.
- When you need to hold workpieces tightly against fence and work surface always use feather boards and when you need to guide workpieces always use push sticks or push blocks. Always try to use magnetic feather boards because they are quick and easy to set up and adjust. In order to keep your hands a safe distance from blades and cutters, you must have to use push sticks and push blocks.
- As a woodworker, you should bear in mind that you will have to use properly sized electric circuits and extension cords or if you use frayed or damaged extension cords, it will be a reason of injury for you.
- You should never take cuts that are too deep. He has to take several progressively deeper passes when jointer, planting or routing wood so that he can avoid kickbacks and can reduce the number of exposed cutting edges.
- You should always keep a phone nearby but not engaged with it during his work so that at the moment of necessity he can call 911 for emergency support. There can be an arrangement for landing phone or a cell phone can also be used.
- As a woodworker you have to always make sure that the heavy equipment what will you use is properly grounded before starting work with it and you will also have to make sure that the guard is in position and it is in good working condition. Always try to guard the machine or equipment adequately before operating it and check it that you have adjusted all other safety devices.
- When you will work with heavy tools always avoid awkward operations and hand positions. Otherwise, at the moment of a sudden slip, it can cause your hand into the cutting blades and bits.
- Avoid compressed air for removing sawdust, cut-offs or turnings from machine or clothing.
- Never leave a machine until the power off is turned off and completely stopped. Besides, never try to leave a machine which is still running. It can damage your work.
- It’s common, a woodworker should not distract another one during his work especially while he/she will work with heavy woodworking equipment.
- As a woodworker, you must avoid working with electrical equipment in the rain under the bare sky or in any inclement weather.
- You should always clamp stock securely during cutting, sanding or drilling act.
- When you will notice something unusual, something like an unusual sound from your machine or unusual smell or smoke getting out from the inside of your machine, turn off it immediately and check the problem before starting work again with it.
The Final Speech
We hope we have read the entire article and now fully ready for your work. Always try to follow the rules and tips and hopefully you will safely complete your every project with a satisfactory result and without getting any injury. Leave a comment for us and always feel free to share your queries with us.