Safety Rules

There are two fundamental safety rules:


3 key items of protective equipment

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Whenever working in the shed, remember to avoid loose-fitting clothing, that may become entangled in a saw blade or cutting head. Wear clothes that are comfortable for the environment in which you're working, but also will protect your body from any wayward wood chips that might result from cutting. Before beginning, remember to remove any dangling jewellery such as neck chains or bracelets.

Wear Eye Protection

Wearing eye protection, either safety glasses, prescription glasses with toughened lenses or a full face mask makes sense whenever working at or near operating equipment. We only have one pair of eyes.

Wear hearing protection

Wear either ear plugs or ear muffs. This surely is a small inconvenience to reduce or prevent hearing loss. Hearing loss occurs over time and at a rate largely dependent on noise levels and duration of exposure. Most operating power equipment is a source of potentially damaging noise.

Wear Dust Protection

Dust inhalation is the silent killer. Dust from certain timbers can be carcinogenic. Wearing appropriate dust protection can greatly reduce the risk of lung problems in the future.

Disconnect Power Before Blade Changes

Whenever you need to change a blade, adjust or maintain a power tool, always disconnect the power before beginning. (Don't just check to see that the switch is off, as a switch could get bumped or malfunction.) Many a woodworker has lost fingers (or worse) by forgetting this simple but very important rule.

Use Sharp Blades & Bits

This one seems like a no-brainer, but a dull cutting tool is a dangerous tool. If a saw blade is not as sharp as it ideally should be, the tool and the woodworker will have to work harder to complete the desired task. In such cases, the tool will be more likely to kick-back or bind. Besides, a sharper cutting tool will produce a cleaner cut, so there are more than just safety advantages here. Keep the blade sharp and clean of build up, and you'll be safer and have better results

Always Work Against the Cutter

Woodworking Power Tools are designed so that the direction that the wood moves through the tool (or the direction that the tool moves across the wood) is in the opposite direction of the movement of the cutting head. In other words, a router bit or saw blade should cut against the motion and not with it. The cutter should cut into the stock, not with the stock.

Never Reach Over a Blade to Remove Cut-Offs

When working on a power saw never put your hands anywhere near the moving blade, especially when attempting to remove waste or cut-offs. Use a piece of scrap or a push stick to move the waste away from the blade. Remember that switches can be inadvertently bumped or malfunction, so just because the blade has stopped, don't relax and put your hands too close.

Avoid Distractions

Distractions are a part of everyday life, and working in the shed is no different. When you are summoned or distracted while in the middle of performing an action with a power tool, remember to always finish the cut to a safe conclusion before dealing with the distraction. Taking your attention away from the woodworking tool is a recipe for disaster. Likewise avoid distracting someone operating a machine or power tool.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Intoxicating substances and woodworking are a dangerous mix. Stay out of the shed if you are even remotely under the influence of any intoxicants. While it may seem harmless for the weekend woodworker to crack open a beer (or six) while working on a project, avoid the temptation until you're finished with the woodworking. You're going to be much less likely to encounter a problem if you're clean and sober when working with your power tools.