Building your first woodworking project can be fun, but you cannot let your excitement keep you from being safe; you do not want your first to be your last project, so you must be vigilant. Carpentry and woodworking can be dangerous safety rules are not followed properly. Common accidents like hitting your finger with a hammer would seem small compared to accidentally cutting your finger off an electric saw.
As such, it is very important to prioritize safety all the time
Here are some basic safety rules that every woodworker should know:
- Always wear safety equipment – One of the most important rules is to wear proper safety equipment. The main products are gloves for your fingers, safety glasses for your eyes, and ear protection to retain your hearing over time. There may be more also depending on your job like a ventilator for painting or working with dust, so do your research.
- Wear the right clothes – An extension of safety gear, wearing the correct clothing is a part of your safety equipment kit. Loose and baggy clothes or hair can get easily tangled in moving parts, so it’s best to avoid wearing these. Make sure you’re wearing thick pants, long sleeves ideal, and solid working shoes to protect yourself from falling objects and staying clean inside. They may not always be the most stylish, but you must consider the cost of a temporary style to permanent injury.
- Be very cautious with saw blades – Reaching over a running blade can seriously hurt your hand. Many woodworkers have become permanently disabled by this type of accident. When working with a saw, understand where the saw blade is, and its rotation direction to know where it may kickback. For example, will it push or pull something into it, and as such should you move your hands away from it. When pushing wood through, you should use a tool or piece of scrap wood to keep your fingers await and reduce the chance of injury.
- Focus on your work and avoid getting distracted – One of the most common distractions nowadays is your smartphone. Answering a phone call while using a power tool can lead to a disaster. It is best to leave it somewhere else or turn it off and focus on your project. Also, other than being safer without your phone, you will be better able to appreciate and enjoy your project as you focus on being in the moment.
- Know your tools and how to use them properly – Knowing what and how to use your tools doesn’t just save you time, but also protect you from accidents. You don’t want to use the wrong hammer and hurt your finger badly. Even seemingly safe tools can be dangerous if used incorrectly, so spend time learning about them before you work on a project with them.
- Check your materials for dangerous scraps or sharp areas– A common issue with used wood is extra nails and screws inside of it. If you do not check for extra fasteners and run a saw over it you risk ruining the saw blade and getting injured from the kickback as it dramatically comes to a halt. Make it a habit to rotate and scan your wood before using it if there is any concern of extra fasteners in it. Also, use gloves or be careful with materials that have been cut or have sharp edges that can easily scratch and cut yourself.
- Don’t work while intoxicated– Drugs and alcohol can impair a person by altering their state of mind. You are not as sharp and do not make the best decisions while intoxicated, so it is best to just avoid working with power tools at all if you feel any bit under the influence.