An Excellent Guide to Shop Safety Basics

Woodworker and YouTuber, Steve Ramsey, offers a really great guide to shop safety basics in this video. Amongst the common advice about wearing eye, hearing, and breathing protection and adequate ventilation, he presents some great “meta” safety advice.

As he points out, while his tips are directed at woodworkers, most of these ideas can apply to all types of shop safety.

* If an operation doesn’t feel right in your gut, it’s probably not right. Think it through carefully. Consult the manual that came with the machine. Do a Google search. Practice it with the machine turned off.

* Understand what the tool is actually doing; how it works. This will go a long way to understanding what might do wrong and how to react to it.

* Bad shop lighting is bad. The better you can see what you’re doing the better chance of doing it safely.

* Keep your cellphone handy in case of an accident.

* Be careful when doing repetitive tasks or tasks that you’ve done hundreds of time before. Lack of focus and complacency can be dangerous. It can be helpful just to remind yourself before doing something repetitive that you are about to do something repetitive and at higher risk of injury.

* And, one of the all-time best pieces of advice (what I call The Kenny Rogers Rule), knowing when something is not working and when it’s time to take a break, take a walk, grab a snack, etc. (“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away and know when to run.”).

Watch the video for more great advice on sound shop safety.


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