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How to Keep safe when beginning woodworking

When starting out as a beginner in learning woodworking there are important safety requirements that should be followed to minimize any chances of injuries. Woodworking can be an enjoyable profession or hobby when you are following relevant safety advice and adhering to safety rules around DIY in general. Injuries often occur where there is little attention to detail and safety is compromised through possibly being shoddy and then taking shortcuts.

Having a safe place to work

It is advisable when starting off to identify a suitable place to have a woodworking area. This area should be kept to a clean standard and remain uncluttered with proper storage of woodworking materials and tools. There should be no power tools left lying around with wires and cables loose and trailing. All equipment should be safely stored with the ability to be able to access as required.
Aim to avoid being interrupted before starting work as it is important that you avoid distractions or stopping during working particularly when using power tools. When distractions occur then you are likely to forget to unplug power tools and cables. Tell people that you are beginning work and do not want to be disturbed. Try not to take mobile phone devices with you as these can ring and cause a distraction when you feel that you have answered the call.

Wearing appropriate safety equipment

Safety glasses are an essential item of safety equipment that can be purchased in a variety of styles. All safety glasses have the same features that are lenses that resist impacts and side screen protectors. Whilst it is sometimes easy to forget to put safety glasses on thinking that you don’t really need them for something, it is vital not to forget to put them on for all woodworking tasks as damage to eyes can be devastating. Eyesight can easily be damaged by particles of dust and small splinters of wood and metal that are created by the use of power tools.

Alongside safety glasses, you should also use a form of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs. Loud noise that can cause hearing loss is created from the use of some noisy power tools. If it is required when using very noisy power tools. Ensuring that hearing is protected may therefore need to be implemented on some occasions when woodworking. Damage to hearing can be irreversible so it is important to use ear protection when required.
Other safety equipment that you might need include gloves and masks are other items that may be needed for some woodworking tasks for protection and safety. Masks or respirators are needed to prevent harmful particles from entering the lungs and from when using spray paints or varnish. Alongside face masks sometimes full-face shields are needed when there is a greater danger of flying bits of debris that can cause lacerations to the face.

Proper clothing and safety footwear when working with wood and woodworking tools should be worn. Attention to the clothing that you are wearing or intend to wear is important before beginning to start working. Everyday clothing can be fine to wear if the clothing is not loose-fitting and could become a hazard by flapping around and becoming tangled and caught up in dangerous machineries such as lathes and cutting tools. There are shop woodworking aprons that are designed for woodworking and to keep clothing in place. They also provide useful pockets to place small items that you are going to use frequently such as a notebook pencil and a tape measure.

Consider wearing safety shoes as feet can often be damaged by potential falling heavy objects. Ideally safety footwear should be worn such as steel-toed shoes that will provide protection to the feet from falling objects and blades. Never work barefoot or in open-toed sandal type of shoes even if the weather is very hot.

Remember that before starting to work with wood tools you always remove any jewelry such as neck chains, bracelets or any dangly form of accessories that could become easily caught.

It goes without saying that you should not be working with wood and any woodworking tools under the influence of any drugs and alcohol. Whilst on a hot day it can be tempting to open a can of beer to refresh and cool down. As the effects of alcohol in the bloodstream might not be noticed until it’s too late as they can slow down the time of your response to a problem occurring and can cause you to be clumsy and take shortcuts and be more likely to make mistakes.

If you are going to be using any form of ladder ensure that you are not alone when doing so. Follow the safety rules of using ladders by having someone support and foot the ladder when you use it. Do not reach or stretch outwards too far to either side to avoid toppling over or falling. If you cannot reach safely then always climb down the ladder and reposition the ladder rather than stretching. Falls from improper use of ladders is one of the most commonest DIY injuries that are responsible for serious back and head injuries.

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