Woodworking is a popular hobby and employs many workers in the woodworking industry. Woodworkers use tools in their woodshop, which can be dangerous and lead to injuries. In New Mexico, a survey was conducted to determine the history and rates of injuries related to woodshop tools among amateur and professional woodworkers. It was found that 64% of woodworking injuries involved woodshop tools. The jointer-planer had the highest injury rate, with 4.9 injuries occurring per 1000 person-hours of use. Chisels and gouges accounted for 3.3 injuries, while drill presses accounted for 3.1 injuries, per 1000 person-hours of use. Hammers and table saws were also frequently associated with woodshop injuries. Approximately one-third of the reported injuries required professional medical attention, and 5% of the respondents experienced partial amputations.
Top Woodworking Safety Tips
Following some basic safety tips, in addition to taking a woodworking safety course, can help you avoid a woodworking injury.
Remember to put on safety glasses.
Make sure to wear your safety glasses from the moment you enter the woodshop until the moment you exit, as it is crucial to protect your eyesight.
Make sure to dress appropriately.
To avoid accidents involving saw blades or cutting heads, it is important to refrain from wearing loose-fitting clothing or dangling jewelry that could become entangled. Instead, opt for attire that safeguards your body against flying wood chips.
Ensure to disconnect the power prior to making any blade changes.
To ensure safety, it is necessary to disconnect the power from a power tool before attempting to change a bit or blade, as simply turning off the switch may not be secure in case it accidentally gets turned back on.
Extension cords should be used sparingly or avoided altogether.
To ensure safety and promote vigilance, use a single extension cord for all 110-volt power tools in the shop. This will require switching the cord between tools before they can be operated, which will also serve as a reminder to disconnect the power during bit or blade changes.
When thinking systematically, rephrase the following text without altering the meaning. Do not introduce new information and do not omit any information. Utilize Sharp Blades & Bits.
When cutting tools are dull, they become hazardous because it requires more effort for the tool to cut and there is an increased likelihood of kickback or binding.
Work in opposition to the individual who is cutting.
To maintain the same meaning while thinking step by step, rephrase the given text as follows: Always make sure that the router bit or saw blade is cutting in the opposite direction of the wood’s motion and not along the same direction. The cutter should penetrate the material, not travel alongside it.
When removing cut-offs, do not reach over the blade.
Always exercise caution by avoiding putting your hands in front of or near a blade that is in motion. This is especially important when removing waste or cut-offs. Wait for the blade to come to a complete stop before attempting to reach in. Ideally, utilize a scrap piece or stick to push the waste away from the blade. For maximum safety, it is imperative to unplug the blade before venturing to put your hands in close proximity.
Conduct a safety briefing for yourself by carefully considering each step.
No, there is nothing wrong with discussing things with yourself. Just pause for a moment and contemplate the project you are about to embark upon.
If you have woodworking plans, make sure to take a moment and carefully read through the entire set of plans.
- What tools are you going to use and what are the hazards you need to account for?
- What techniques will you be using for a particular project?
- Do you have your cell phone on hand if you have an emergency?
- Is another person around you can call upon if you need assistance?
It is important to have knowledge of your skill level and acknowledge your limitations.
If there are tasks that you are not comfortable performing, avoid doing them. In case training is required, make sure to receive it, and ensure that you read the instruction manuals provided with your tools. It is essential to adhere to the safety recommendations mentioned in those manuals.
If you are more comfortable using a hand tool, feel free to do so when performing a woodworking task. Remember, there are various ways to complete the task, and not everything requires power tools.
You have access to a remarkable woodworking community that is readily available to you. Take advantage of this by joining a forum or Facebook group to ask any questions you may have. Additionally, remember to explore the option of joining or visiting local woodworking clubs.
In the community, you can contribute to others by sharing your skills and safety tips.
Ensure that you have continuous control over both the workpiece and your tools.
It is important to ensure that your hands and fingers are kept away from blades or areas where they could get pinched. Be cautious of boards kicking back or dragging your finger/hand into the blade. It is essential to prevent your hands from slipping into the blade by using push sticks with your table saw. When necessary, make use of clamps.
Ensure that the wood is securely fastened when using the drill press, as this will allow you to minimize any potential issues in case the drill bit becomes stuck in the wood.
If you’re engaged in lathe work, consider whether it is appropriate to turn between centers or if you possess a reliable chuck that can firmly grip the piece you are turning.
It is important to have a First Aid Kit and Fire Extinguisher readily available.
With carefulness, you can identify and manage the majority of hazards in your shop. However, there may be occasions where things will not go as planned. In such cases, the presence of a functional first aid kit is highly crucial as it has the potential to not only preserve your life but also prevent severe injuries to body parts.
First, become acquainted with your fire extinguisher and store it in a specific location. It is crucial to ensure that the extinguisher is properly charged. Utilize fire extinguishers for small fires exclusively. In the event of a sizable fire, it is advisable to promptly vacate the premises. Familiarize yourself with the available exits.