Workshop Safety Tips

Yearly there are many home shop related injuries. Many of these can be prevented by taking the time to make sure you are using the proper PPE and safe workshop safety techniques. Equipment like your table saw does not care if you want to stick your finger in the path of blade. It will bite you and it will not apologize to you. I mentioned PPE, many might not know what this means unless you have been exposed to it in a manufacture position. What PPE stands for is personal protective equipment. Many things I will discuss below will involve PPE items.

Safety Glasses

Safety glasses are a must (I know there a pain to wear). I have to wear them for 10+plus hours a day at my current place of employment, so I know the struggle. I recommend you find a pair that fit and feel comfortable to you and possible stylish if you like. This will help make sure that your keeping them on your face and not on your forehead. The best practice is always to put them on whenever you enter the door to shop. Whenever people come into your shop make sure there also wearing the proper eye protection. You might look into a sign like this for your shop door plus its kind of stylish I think.

 

 

 

Hearing Protection

In your life, you only get one set of ears so take the time and purchase the proper hearing protection. Machinery in your workshop produces many different pitches of noise. A noise that doesn’t sound very loud to you could be doing more damage than you think. Prolonged exposure to the noise is when the real damage begins to occur. Take the time protect your ears. This snippet is from OSHA website :

Here’s an example: OSHA allows 8 hours of exposure to 90 dBA but only 2 hours of exposure to 100 dBA sound levels. NIOSH would recommend limiting the 8 hour exposure to less than 85 dBA. At 100 dBA, NIOSH recommends less than 15 minutes of exposure per day.

 

Respiratory Protection

Once again, your respiratory system is a very important part of your body to take care off. This protection of safety is one that is problem more over looked that any others we have discussed thus far. Dust in woodworking can cause serious damage to your long term heath. Not only the larger chips that you can see coming from your table saw. The ones that you can’t see are causing the most damage to your long term health. They range somewhere in the 2-1o micron range and are mostly undetectable, So why are these smaller once so dangerous to your health? Well because when these smaller particles are inhaled they cause micro wounds and scarring to the inside of your lungs. The damage caused by this is irreversible! So take the time now and purchase the proper respiratory  below.

 

 

Proper Apparel

Wearing the proper Apparel in your shop it is very important. This can make all the difference from a happy and fun evening of creating a projects to a trip to the ER.  In my machining class back in high school I saw kid nearly get sucked into a lathe because of a simple hoodie string! Take the time to make sure there is nothing dangling/hanging from you while you’re working. Especially those earbuds!

This may come as common sense but make sure that you always were the proper footwear. This means make sure your not wearing any flip flops or sandals or another opened toe shoes. Plus you shouldn’t be wearing any high heeled shoes as workshop safety advocate! 

Your clothing should also be form fitting and not loose and dangling. Wearing clothing like this around machinery is asking for trouble and could result in great injury as the story I mentioned above. 

As much as I keep talking about dangling objects that I think we should know by now that were jewelry is a big NO! Items like neckless and rings should be removed. A quick google image search of some of the damage caused by wearing wedding rings should show you the damage the can create. As a avid builder/maker even current full-time welder I always wear a ring and I know its bad habit that needs broken.

 

 

Conclusion

While working in your shop workshop safety should be your number one concern. The power machinery we tend to work around doesn’t care that your in the way. Always take the time to read the documentation on any new equipment. This will ensure that all the proper guards and safety producers are in place. If your unsure of something or it doesn’t feel say feel free to contact me through the contact page and I will help you in anyway I can. Share this article with your friends to make sure that there  workshop safety is the number one priority in there shop!