Beginner Woodworking Machine Safety

Woodworking tools can be dangerous if not used properly. As a beginner woodworking enthusiast, care in using these beginner woodworking tools is extremely essential to avoid any accidents. Disregarding any safety precautions from the wood working machine manufacturer is fatal. Be very safety conscious when working with these beginner woodworking machines. Your mind should only be focused on what you are doing and your personal safety, when working with these woodworking machines. Always practice safety. Don’t learn it by accident.

What should you do before using any beginner woodworking machines?

  • Only use beginner woodworking machines that you have been trained to use properly and safely.
  • Read the owner’s manual carefully.
  • Make sure you understand the instructions before attempting to use any tool or machine. Ask questions if you have any doubts about doing the work safely.

What safety procedures should you follow when using woodworking machines?

Beginner Woodworking Machine Safety

  • Always wear safety glasses or goggles
  • Wear a dust mask.
  • 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 three feet away, the noise level from the machine is too high. Damage to hearing may occur.
  • Use gloves to protect hands from splinters when handling wood but do not wear them near rotating blades and other machinery parts where the gloves can catch.
  • Make sure all guards are in position, are in good working condition, and guard the machine adequately before operating any equipment or machine. Check and adjust all other safety devices.
  • Make sure the equipment is properly grounded before use.
  • Check that keys and adjusting wrenches are removed from the machine before turning on the power.
  • Inspect stock for nails or other materials before cutting, planing, routing or carrying out similar activities.
  • Make sure that all machines have start and stop buttons within easy and convenient reach of an operator. Start buttons should be protected so that accidental contact will not start the machine. A collar around the button 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch (3 to 6 mm) above the button is recommended.
  • Ensure that all cutting tools and blades are clean, sharp, and in good working order so that they will cut freely, and do not have to be forced.
  • Turn the power off and unplug the power cord (or lock out the power source) before inspecting, changing, cleaning, adjusting or repairing a blade or a machine. Also turn the power off when discussing the work.
  • Use a “push stick” to push material into the cutting area. Jigs are also useful in keeping hands safe during cutting procedures. Keep hands out of the line of the cutting blade.
  • Clamp down and secure all work pieces when drilling or milling.
  • Use good lighting so that the work piece, cutting blades, and machine controls can be seen clearly. Position or shade lighting sources so they do not shine in the operator’s eyes or cause any glare and reflections.
  • As a beginner woodworking enthusiast, you must train yourself to be very conscious to your working environment. Ensure that the floor space around the equipment is sufficient to enable you to machine the size of work piece being processed safely without bumping into other workers or equipment.
  • Woodworking machines should be fitted with efficient and well-maintained local exhaust ventilation systems to remove sawdust or chips that are produced.
  • Electric power cords should be above head level or in the floor in such a way that they are not tripping hazards.
  • Keep work area free of clutter, clean, well swept, and well lit. Spills should be cleaned up immediately. Floor areas should be level and non-slip. Good housekeeping practices and workplace design will reduce the number of injuries and accidents from slips, trips, and falls.

What should you avoid when working with beginner woodworking machines?

  • Do not wear loose clothing, work gloves, neckties, rings, bracelets or other jewelry that can become entangled with moving parts.
  • Avoid awkward operations and hand positions where a sudden slip could cause your hand to move into the cutting tool or blade.
  • Do not remove sawdust or cuttings from the cutting head while a machine is running. Use a stick or brush when the machine has stopped moving to remove the sawdust or cuttings.
  • Do not use compressed air to remove sawdust, turnings, etc. from machines or clothing.
  • Do not leave machines running unattended (unless they are designed and intended to be operated while unattended). Do not leave a machine until the power switch is turned off and the machine comes to a complete stop. It is your responsibility as a beginner woodworking enthusiast to not leave any power tools running.
  • Do not try to free a stalled blade before turning the power off.
  • Do not distract or startle an operator while he or she is using woodworking equipment.
  • Horseplay must be prohibited. It can lead to injuries.

These Machine Safety Precautions was published by Canada National Occupational Health and Safety Resources.