Top tips for using woodworking machinery safely

Woodworking machines are the heartbeat of a workshop, and anyone who owns or works in one knows the significance of these tools. However, if these tools are not handled appropriately, they can cause grave harm to both the workers and employers. Many workshops don’t take safety seriously resulting in thousands of injuries and accidents every year. It is essential to learn standard safety solutions and adopt best practices for your workshop. Implementing the following safety tips can help you combat injuries and accidents resulting from woodwork machinery.

Tidy workshop

It is essential to keep your area clean when using woodwork machinery. Excess sawdust, cut offs, and stock, when ignored, can impair your ability to make safe, clean cuts. Keeping the area clear of a loose piece of inventory can significantly prevent it from contacting a moving blade hence becoming a projectile.

Wear protective clothing

It is mandatory to wear appropriate safety clothing while using woodwork machinery. Dust masks, hearing protection, safety glasses, safety gloves, and face shields are a few of the pieces of protective equipment that are required in a workshop. It is also important to note the potential hazards that you should avoid, such as jewellery, neckties, and loose-fitting clothing, mainly when operating rotating blades and a table saw.

Check safety features

It is mandatory to check the safety features of the equipment before you start using it to ensure that it can properly function. You should ensure that the guard is in the right position and in good working condition to enable its adequate functioning. The machinery should be properly grounded, and adjusting wrenches and keys should be removed before turning the power on to ensure your protection.

Pay attention

Distraction is a part of human life, and it is no different from working in a workshop where it can pose a significant threat to your safety. Disruptions such as fatigue can impact negatively on your decision making. This can subsequently encourage sloppy work and shortcuts leading to injuries and accidents. Picking up a piece of machinery or turning it on, especially when you are engaged or not feeling alert can be very dangerous.

Machinery maintenance

‘A dull tool is a dangerous tool’ is a saying well-known and used worldwide, considering how unpredictable tools can be when they are not adequately maintained. Equipment that is not well maintained requires exertion of more force to function, leading to loss of control, breakage, and tear out. The more energy you exert on a tool, the less power you have on it. It is therefore essential to properly maintain your machinery, such as ensuring that the fence of your table saw is parallel to the blade to help prevent kickback.

Use a push stick

It is vital to keep your hands safely away from the line of the cutting blade. A push stick can significantly help in pushing materials through the cutting area. It is dangerous to use your hands to thrust materials, especially if they have about six inches’ width or less of stock left.

Maintain a good position

Maintaining an excellent operating position is essential when handling machinery to ensure safety in the workshop. To keep the right balance, you should maintain a decent, firm stance with an extensive operation base. You should also avoid standing directly in front of the blade to prevent the stock from kicking back into the body and instead slide past your midsection.

Never touch a running machinery

Machinery such as blades are the most dangerous in the workshop and can cause severe damage. You should avoid reaching, making adjustments, or making a fence to the edges especially when they are still running. Instead, wait for the blade to halt before reaching it. Continue to observe the precautions even after it has stopped as there can be a default, and through touching, you can easily re-activate it.

Proper training

It is essential to implement appropriate training methods on how to handle machinery regularly in workshops. This ensures that the workers or anyone involved in the workshop are equipped to handle and clearly understand the safety measures associated with the equipment.

 

Adam Hansen