Woodworking tools can be dangerous if not used properly. The Ontario-based Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety offers these tips to keep you safe while getting the job done right.

  1. Only use woodworking machines that you have been trained to use properly and safely.
  2. Read the owner’s manual carefully.
  3. Make sure you understand instructions before attempting o use any tool or machine. Ask questions if you have any doubts about doing the work safely.
  4. Always wear safety glasses or goggles.
  5. Wear dust masks when required.
  6. Wear hearing protection that is suitable for the level and frequency of the noise you are exposed to in the woodworking area. If you have trouble hearing someone speak from 3 feet away, the noise level form the machine is too high.
  7. Use gloves to protect hands form splinters when handling wood but do not wear them near rotating blades an other machinery parts where the gloves can get caught in moving parts.
  8. Before operating any equipment or machine, make sure the machine guard is in position, is in good working condition and guards the machine adequately. Check and adjust all other safety devices.
  9. Make sure the equipment is properly grounded before use.
  10. Check that keys and adjusting wrenches are removed from the machine before turning on the power.
  11. Inspect stock for nails or other materials before cutting, planning, routing or carrying out similar activities.
  12. Make sure that all machines have start and stop buttons within easy and convenient reach of the operator. Start buttons should be protected by collars so accidental contact will not start the machine.
  13. Ensure all cutting tools and blades are clean, sharp and in good working order so that they will cut freely without force.
  14. Turn the power off and unplug the power cord (or lock out the power).
  15. By following these simple tips, you will help keep yourself safe when using woodworking tools.

* Reference: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Original content can be found at: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/woodwork/gen_safe.html

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