Woodworking is a great occupation for those who like to create and focus their mind to relax. However, it achieves the opposite results when not properly executed. It is easy to let your thoughts wander when performing familiar tasks, a mindset commonly reached by carpenters. Seasoned woodworkers know a lot about being safe in the shop, but being proactive and preventative on a construction site is a bit harder to manage.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have complied data on what injuries those who operate woodworking equipment are at risk for and found laceration, severed limbs and even blindness to be the most common. Further health hazards include the carcinogens in wood dust and chemicals contained in adhesive and finishing products, which can cause respiratory and skin diseases. These typically become hazardous after long-term exposure, but it is possible that they will occur immediately such as in the case of an allergic reaction. The chemicals can cause headaches, nausea and dizziness, which can take effect while operating machinery and will therefore pose life-threatening risks. They can also induce temporary irritation of the eyes, kidney and liver damage.
Important things to remember:
- Ensure that everyone on-site wears protective masks and goggles when near the carpentry station.
- Meet all OSHA regulations for equipment handling.
- Shut off the machine immediately if something gets jammed in the blade.
- Do not touch the equipment while it is still coasting or idling. It is particularly hard to establish whether or not the blades are moving while under bright light.
- Confirm that the guard is properly adjusted on the machine.
- Promptly remove dust or keep it spread out because it can combust if it is confined, suspended midair at high concentration, or if there is any ignition (electricity, fire or friction).
For help preventing such accidents and ensuring general construction site precautions, ask Safety Advantage about their safety management services.