Woodworking Safety Tips

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When using woodwork machinery, it is important that you observe the necessary safety procedures to avoid any accidents. Fundamentally, it is important that you only use woodwork machinery you have been trained in the use of. Take some time to read the user manual carefully to ensure you understand all the specific features of the machine you are using, and ensure you have a full understanding of the machine before you start it up. If you have any doubts, ask for some advice about how to stay safe when using your machine. Below are the some of the general safety procedures you should follow when using woodwork machinery.

Wearing protective gear

It’s crucial that you have the right protective clothing when using your machines; this will ensure your face, hands, body, feet and even your hearing are protected accordingly to help you do the job safely.

Wear safety glasses or goggles whenever you are around a machine; even if it’s turned off, it’s common sense to keep them on until you are in a safe environment. You may also want to wear a face shield for extra protection.

You can also invest in ear protection to save your hearing from damage. As a general rule, if you struggle to hear someone speaking from 3 feet away, your machine’s noise level could damage your hearing if you aren’t wearing any earphones or other similar protective gear.

Wear gloves to protect your hands from splinters as you handle any wood, but make sure you do not wear them around rotating blades or moving machinery parts that the gloves could catch on, as this is incredibly dangerous.

Remember to wear appropriate footwear to protect your feet from both the machinery and any large pieces of wood.

Carry out checks and inspections

Before and after you use your woodwork machinery, you should carry out a number of checks to make sure it is safe; either for you to use, or for the next person to use. Make sure the guard is always in position, and that the machine is in good working order in the first place. Do this before you operate any equipment

You should also make sure the equipment is suitably grounded before using it, and make sure any adjusting wrenches or keys are detached before turning the power on.

Check your wood for any nails or other unwanted materials before you start cutting or doing anything else to it, as this could damage the machine.

Blades and other cutting tools should be clean and sharp to ensure a smooth and effective action when using the machine; if they are starting to blunt, it could be dangerous to your wellbeing.

Inspect your working environment

Ensure your work is well lit so that you can see everything clearly and make sure  any lights don’t shine in the operator’s eyes or obstruct vision in any other way. There should be sufficient floor space around the equipment to process the work safely without bumping into any other equipment or workers.

Any power cables should run higher than head level or under the floor to avoid trip hazards. Keeping your work area uncluttered is a high priority when working with woodwork machinery.

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