Safety's Always First
Is YOUR Decision
Everyone knows that working with power tools can be hazardous. So, what can you do to protect yourself from injury?
The simple answer...let common sense be your guide. The list below contains safety rules that apply to power tools in general. Use this list to develop a mental checklist that you go over in your mind BEFORE you turn on any power tool.
Print out this list...mount it on poster-board and hang it in a highly visible area of your shop. Let this list remind you and everyone who visits or uses your shop that SAFETY is the first rule in woodworking!
KNOW YOUR POWER TOOLS -- Read, understand and follow all the safety rules contained in the Owner's Manuals that came with your power tools. Understand their capabilities, limitations and potential hazards thoroughly before using them.
GROUND ALL POWER TOOLS (unless double insulated) -- Grounding prevents electrical shock. Tools should have approved, three-prong grounding plugs and be plugged into mating three-hole receptacles. If necessary, use a temporary adapter with a grounding wire to plus a tool with a three-pronged plug into a two-hole receptacle and attach the ground wire on the adapter to an appropriate ground. (NOTE: These adapters are not allowed in Canada.)
NEVER OPERATE POWER TOOLS AROUND STANDING WATER -- If you have a power tool in an area where water could come into play, plug it into a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupt) circuit. In the event water gets into the area unexpectedly during use and causes a short, this special circuit will disconnect the power instantaneously, preventing electrical shock and injury. Special GFI extension cords are available to convert an ordinary grounded receptacle into a GFI circuit.
WEAR EYE PROTECTION -- Always wear safety glasses with side shields when working with power tools. If you're cutting green wood with a chain saw or performing other operations (such a lathe turning) where large wood chips could be flying about, a protective face shield will provide even better protection.
WEAR EAR PROTECTION -- Many power tools (most notably, table saws, jointers, planers and routers) produce loud, high-frequency sounds that can damage your hearing. When working with noisy tools, always wear hearing protectors .
KEEP ALL GUARDS IN PLACE AND IN WORKING ORDER -- Power tool guards are provided for your protection. Although, at times, their use may be inconvenient, USE THEM. The majority of power tool injuries occur when operators are using them unguarded.
DISCONNECT THE POWER -- NEVER make adjustments, change spindle-mounted accessories, perform maintenance or service your tools with the power connected. ALWAYS turn off your tools before removing wood scraps.