This is Why You Need a First Aid Kit in Your Shop. In this post, you’ll learn why it’s important to have a kit on hand, and where you can get a good one. Enjoy.
First Aid Kits for Woodworking
Woodworking safety is very important, and its something that you should address before you actually need it. As a woodworker, you’re going to expose yourself to many different dangers. Being prepared is the first step towards a safer woodworking experience.
One of those steps is having a good first aid kit in your shop. This doesn’t have to be anything gigantic or elaborate, it just needs to be available. When you have access to your first aid items right in your shop, you have a much higher likelihood of using them.
Safety doesn’t end at a first aid kit, but if you haven’t even started the process of addressing safety in your shop, a good first aid kit is a great place to begin. Coming up, you’ll learn several reasons why it’s important.
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Quick Access to Common First Aid Items
Sometimes just having access to the items you need in a quicker manner is the difference between using them and not using them. So many times we let small obstacles get in our way, and that’s not good for safety.
Simply having a first aid kit in your shop increases your chances of using it. When the kit is right in front of you, there is nothing to go and find. The kit is right there, easy to use, and those first couple hurdles are eliminated just by having it in the shop.
Once you have a first aid kit in place, you’ll be surprised how often you use it. It’s kind of like buying a new tool, and even though you didn’t think you would use it very often, you find that you use it all the time.
The reason you use it is because it’s in your shop. Your first aid kit will work the same way, and you’ll end up needing it more often than you thought.
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Nobody Likes Bloody Projects
Even small cuts and abrasions can benefit from being treated with a first aid kit. Aside from the obvious fact that an injury does need treatment in order to heal properly, there’s one other thing that’s really important for your woodworking projects.
Nobody likes to receive a project that has blood stains on it. When you get a cut in your shop, even something minor, it could end up transferring small amounts of blood to your project, which seep into the surface.
These either have to be cleaned off immediately, or sanded out. Since the blood penetrates the surface, sometimes it takes a little bit of extra sanding to remove. This is a bunch of extra work for no reason, and you can solve the problem simply by using a bandage.
The next time you cut yourself in the shop, and you notice that you’re bleeding, take the time to treat the cut, and you won’t have to worry about getting blood on your projects.
Remember, blood sweat and tears is more of a metaphor than anything else. While you are intended to sweat, and even a few tears are tolerable under the right circumstances, you definitely don’t want to bleed on your work.
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Treated Cuts vs Untreated Cuts
When you treat a cut right away, you have a much lower risk of infection. Open wounds, no matter how small are a doorway for infection. Close the door with a good first aid kit, and you reduce your risk down the road.
A small cut is a minor nuisance. An infected finger can mean weeks of not being able to work in your shop while you are healing. It’s just not worth it for the time it takes to wash out your cut and use a bandage.
The next time you have a cut in the shop, take the couple minutes it requires to treat it. Clean the area really well, and apply an antibiotic ointment. Then, cover the cut with an adhesive bandage to protect it from further exposure.
While this is not guaranteed to prevent infection, it can greatly reduce the risk, and that’s definitely worth the effort.
Tips for Picking a Good First Aid Kit
Picking out a first aid kit for your woodworking shop is a little bit different than picking out a first aid kit for another activity like camping, hiking, or fishing. The needs are a little different, so you need to address them.
Here are some good tips on how to pick out a woodworking first aid kit, and they can help you make a better decision:
- Look for a kit that has a lot of the commonly used items for small cuts and abrasions, because this is what you’re going to need the most often.
- Skip the kits that have bizarre items that you’ll probably never use, like a snakebite treating kit. These are novelty items in most cases, and the odds of being bitten by a snake in your woodworking shop should hopefully be very low.
- Look for a kit that comes in a nice case rather than a box. Cardboard boxes will fall apart over time, but a nice case that zips up or locks is much more durable.
- Don’t go over the top when it comes to a first aid kit. If you really have an emergency, you need to call an ambulance, and not waste time treating yourself.
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One Important Thing to Add to Your Kit
No matter what kit you buy, there is one item that you absolutely need to add to any kit in order to make it the most functional. This is an inexpensive item, and you can find it in just about any store.
That one thing is a tube of antibiotic ointment. Even kits that come with small packages of ointment run out very quickly, especially if you are actually using the kit when you need to. A small tube is only a few dollars, and it can last a very long time.
You only get a few opportunities to use the ointment might come with your kit, and then it’s all gone. A tube will last far longer, and there’s usually plenty of room to tuck it inside.
Where to Store Your New First Aid Kit
Right now, when your mind is clear, it’s going to be difficult to remember where you put your first aid kit if you haven’t used it in six months. Imagine how difficult it will be when you are hurt and really need the kit.
That being said, it’s important that you put your kit in a place where it’s easy to see, and easy to get to. This means don’t tuck it away in a drawer, and don’t put it behind anything.
Find a place that’s right out in the open, not blocked by anything, and that’s very easy to reach. A place like this is great for many reasons, and it can help you in the event of an emergency.
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My Favorite First Aid Kit
My favorite first aid kit is from Protect Life, and they sent me a free kit to review for everyone here on the site. It’s a fantastic kit for a lot of reasons, and I immediately replaced my old kit in my shop with this one.
For starters, it has a nice rugged case that’s easy to open, and it actually fits all of the stuff inside. Most first aid kits explode once you take everything out of them, and the chances of you getting everything back inside or almost zero.
That’s not the case with this kit, which is excellent because it means you’ll be able to fit a small tube of antibiotic ointment to treat your cuts inside the same package. It’s also bright red, which makes it easy to spot in your shop.
This kit also has a lot of the commonly used items, like bandages, which you’ll need quite a few of. This means you can buy one first aid kit, it can last you many many years because you don’t run out of the supplies too fast.
Your Action Assignment
Your action assignment is to get a first aid kit for your shop, order it now, and don’t put this off one more day. Your safety is extremely important, and simply having the supplies close by can make the difference between using them or not.
If you want to get the same kit you see in this post, you can order the kit that I use here. It’s a fantastic kit and it will cost you about $20 to make a big difference in the safety factor of your shop.
If you have any questions about first aid kits and woodworking safety, please post a question and I’ll be glad to answer them. Happy building.
- More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
- 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
- Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
- Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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