How To Work Safely In The Workshop, and Around Your Home
Most tools have a set of rules and precautions that only apply to that tool. But there are some safety precautions that apply to every tool. Learn these rules off by heart, or better yet, have them posted up in your workshop and you’ll always be off to a safe start.
- Always wear safety goggles or safety glasses that have side shields. For dusty work, use a dust mask and wear hearing protection such as ear muffs or ear plugs if you are working with noisy equipment such as grinders and circular saws.
- Do not use power tools if you are not feeling well, fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Dress right. Wear fitted clothes, non-slip footwear (steel capped safety boots are the best option). Do not wear any jewelry, necklaces, dangling objects of any kind. Long hair should be tied at the back of your head.
- Make sure that your work area has plenty of bright, shadow–free light.
- Ensure that your work area is clean and neat. Make sure it is free from any debris that might obstruct you, cause a tripping hazard or be ignited by hot sparks.
- Always check the condition of extension leads, make sure there is no cuts or damage to the insulation. If you have a multimeter you can check the continuity between both ends to be sure there is a continuous circuit.
- Make sure you have the power switch turned off, before you plug in any power tool or device.
- Always be sure that all proper guarding is in place and working.
- Make sure you shut off and unplug the tool before you make any adjustments or change accessories. You do not want to go and change a grinding disc, only to accidentally turn the tool on during the process!
- Do not use any accessory apart from those specifically provided or recommended by the manufacturer of the tool.
- Do not use power tools in damp or wet conditions.
- Never use a power tool that is defective or malfunctioning in any way. Send it away to be repaired, or throw it in the bin – it is simply not worth the risk to save a few dollars.
- Always use a heavy duty extension cord if you need one and never use indoor rated cords outside.
- Make sure cutters or blades are sharp, clean and securely in place. Avoid using bent, warped, or broken blades or cutters.
- Never overreach when using a power tool. Stay firmly planted on both feet.
- Take your time and never rush what you are doing. Always pay attention and don’t allow anything to distract you.
- Always keep a firm grip with both hands when using hand-held power tools. Do not use a tool that is too heavy for you to easily control.
- Be sure to use the right tool for the right job. Do not substitute just for convenience or to save time.
- Always unplug, clean and store the tool in a safe, clean and dry place when you are finished using it.
The safety tips I’ve outlined above should be kept in mind at all times.