Lots of woodworkers start worrying about safety after something bad happens. This is absolutely the wrong time. Start looking into safety gear long before you need it. Not only will you be prepared should something happen, you will also be far more equipped to reduce any harm that might come your way.
One of the best ways to learn what kinds of safety equipment you need is to read your product manuals. The tools you use will tell you what they recommend for you to be safe.
Another way is to do a little research online, and look at the recommendations. With any type of research, be extra careful that you are going with reliable information.
Anyone can post something online these days. Be sure to use your best judgement, and when in doubt continue to search for answers.
Once you understand the safety issues that you can minimize with personal protective equipment, it is now your job to purchase and use the gear.
It can be a little different at first using safety glasses or ear plugs. Especially when you have not done so in the past. The best way to develop this new habit is to just keep doing it. Make it a point to pause before using a tool and don your safety gear.
Safety is a Habit
Once you get into the habit, the safety stuff will blend right into your normal routine. It will become second nature to put on your safety glasses, or whatever other piece of equipment you need. As you get more and more comfortable wearing the equipment, it will become a normal part of your woodworking process.
For more about safety, I wrote about Why I Wear Safety Glasses. I’ll give you a hint, it’s because I’m deaf in one ear.
The bottom line about safety is that you might only get one chance to get it right. It can depend on what goes wrong, but some parts of woodworking and wood finishing can really hurt you if you are not careful. An accident on a saw can be lift changing.
Getting finish in your eyes can be catastrophic. Make the decision to use your safety gear all the time, and to use the right safety gear for what you are working with.
If you have any questions on Safety Gear for Woodworkers, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work with your friends online. It helps me reach more woodworkers, and share my love of the craft. Happy building.
- More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
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- Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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