The Ten Commandments of Woodshop Safety

Maybe these rules weren't passed by a higher power but they're quite helpful.

In honor of National Remodel Month, we have found a few rules that will help your shop run smoothly and effectively during heightened operations. Though humorous, these commandments are certainly helpful and worth heeding.

1) “Thou Shalt Keep Thy Shop Spotless And Pure” – Put tools back in their places. Don’t step over or walk around a mess that you can clean yourself.

2) “Thou Shalt Mar Not Thy Flesh And Live” – Receive clear instructions for every tool that you are using. No guessing allowed, especially when there is a blade involved; push sticks are not optional. Use the appropriate protection such as goggles and gloves when applicable.

3) “Thou Shalt Plan Thy Cut Beforetimes” – Measure twice, cut once. And only cut what needs to be cut, carefully avoiding limbs and appendages.

4) “Thou Shalt Focus On The Work Of Thine Hands” – Cell phones, chatty coworkers, and other distractions can lead to accidents. Use forethought: how will you text with missing fingers? Put down the phone, tell your friend to hush-up, and concentrate on your work.

5) “Thou Shalt Never Force The Separation Of Wood” – Wood is not alive and it will not fight you or your blade. If your blade encounters resist, shut off the motor and see what is wrong. Kickback can cause injuries so don’t force the blade through a rough spot in wood.

6) “Thou Shalt Not Partake Of Strong Drink” – There is no such thing as shots with blade and machinery chasers. That’s because it is a bad idea. Be sober when working.

7) “Thou Shalt Gather Thy Garments Close About Thee” – Fashion is not worth your job or your life. Wear your hair and clothing in a manner that will not interfere with your work.

8) “Thou Shalt Breathe The Breath Of Life And None Other” – Step outside during your breaks to enjoy fresh air. Give your lungs a rest from airborne dust and fumes. Long term respiratory damage is painful and expensive. Besides, its nearly summer. A bit of sun-kissed Vitamin D won’t hurt you. (If you’ve been trapped indoors for so long that you have glow-in-the-dark skin, consider taking longer breaks.)

9) “Thou Shalt Not Rush Exceedingly Into Folly” – It’s just not that serious. Rushing causes accidents and errors. Pace yourself and plan ahead to meet important deadlines. Before rushing through any project that requires high speed projectiles like a staple gun or blades, ask yourself, “Is this worth my life? A limb?”

10) “Thou Shalt Acknowledge All Movement As Fearsome” – If it moves, it can hurt you. Removing a wood scrap or other obstruction from the path of a moving blade is a bad idea. According to Newton, a tool or blade in motion will stay in motion, whether your hand wants it to or not. The only way to control a moving tool is to turn it off. Once the motion has stopped, remove the obstruction and continue working.

Humor aside, the shop can be a hazardous place. Keep it safe by following a few common sense rules. Stocking your Kansas City inventory? Call Schutte Lumber for your lumber, timber, and building needs.

Source: nationalwoodworking.com

Image by Mickey Glitter

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