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Thread: What are your UNIQUE TO YOU safety rules in the shop?

  1. No open shoes like sandals or flip-flops allowed in my shop. For obvious reasons.

  2. #32
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks so much for this thread, as a new hobbyist wood worker this information is invaluable. A lot of things I haven't thought of or have come up yet.

    This is greatly appreciated.

    Keep them coming!!!

  3. #33
    I always look through the door window to see the reflection of the table saw rails.
    If that view is occluded, then there's been a fire and opening the door will let in fresh air to fan the flames anew. I've heard lots of stories in the past where guys opened the door to a smoke filled shop and things burst into flames immediately.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Elmodel, Ga.
    Not to be distracted by phone calls while working in my shop. It takes your mind off the task that you are doing, can cause confusion, and can be as dangerous as driving and talking and/or testing while driving. Case in point: my daughter called me while I was shaping a piece of wood on my 12" disc sander. While not paying close enough attention, I pushed the wood into the sander, not watching my fingers as I should have and it sanded a nice chunk out of my index finger. Bleed all over me, my project, shop floor and everything in between. NO MORE PHONE CALLS IN SHOP!

  5. #35
    There are several "no's" mentioned that a guy I worked for did just to show he was the boss; blasting -and I mean blasting music while we were working (hey I like the Dead too, but...)
    SOB used to wear sandals & shorts all the time-even in snow- and would yell at everyone to clean up when he stubbed his toe
    Whether it was a real mess or not, he'd take it upon himself to sweep all your stuff off your bench, throw it in a bucket and say you were a slob (that ended when he chipped a workers chisel and the guy spent an hour re-grinding it on the bosses dime, and the other three of us backed him up on it)
    And he used to slather ways oil on the sliding saws, the shaper adjustments, the screws on the handles of nearly everything, rather than clean it properly(takes too much time!)- we were constantly getting stains on our clothes and got chewed if it showed up on a piece.
    I obviously left after about five weeks after a blow up but it taught me that before you work-

    Music is ok as long as you can talk above it in a normal voice

    Got to have good footwear; go ahead, drop a chisel on those sandaled feet.....

    Leave the other guys stuff alone unless it really is a hazard ; then ask him nicely to clean up before he leaves that day. If he fights- no work tomorrow. And always pick up any scraps and such after using any of the saws, no need to trip on the next time you use it

    Keep your machines clean, properly lubed and adjusted.

    Start the day in a decent frame of mind- if you're pissed off, bad things will likely happen.

    Allways let someone know you're working if you're alone

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Flower mound, Tx
    Everyone has their comfort level when it comes to what they perceive to be “safe”.
    I find these “safety” threads always amusing as to the wildly different opinions and practices. Common sense, Situational awareness, and experience keep me from hurting myself.
    I can’t think of a single task I perform in my shop that music, a phone, a dog, etc would distract me to the point of injury? I would propose a review of one’s techniques or machinery setup if a single distraction could cause disaster?

  7. #37
    No brooms - I have a rolling floor sweep that takes a 4" hose and plug it into the main DC. Airborne fine dust is the biggest hazard in my (and most others?) shop.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    US Virgin Islands
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by Arnold E Schnitzer View Post
    No open shoes like sandals or flip-flops allowed in my shop. For obvious reasons.
    I need to adopt this rule. Guilty.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Oakley, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    Employee related... No radio allowed other than occasionally during menial work (cleaning)
    This is mine too. Reduce distractions to a minimum and that includes radio.

    One more that I am still working on is COMPLETELY finish what you start. I have had a nasty habit of changing or reducing my focus too early at the end of an operation, like that last 1/4 of a second or so. If I had just maintained focus for that last blink of an eye, I would not have needed that trip to the ER to get a finger stitched.


  10. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Itapevi, SP - Brazil

    Four of mine

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Schweizer View Post
    We all know the basics- wear a dust mask, don't wear long clothing around moving parts, never reach behind the saw blade... but that's not what this post is about. This post is about your own personal safety rules for your shop based on what your own past experience. I figure we can all gain from sharing this.

    For example, here's mine:
    • I never bring any drinks into the shop on epoxy or varnish day, thanks to a past experience where I didn't, but almost did, take a swig of varnish instead of my water.
    • I always unlock the door when I'm in the shop alone, just in case something happens where I need to yell for help.
    • Always have some vinegar handy when using epoxy- it is the only thing I've found that takes it off skin. (That one probably isn't unique to me, except for the always having it part- it's part of my pre-epoxy checklist.)
    • Not exactly a safety tip, but I always make a little back scratcher out of scrap wood whenever I'm using epoxy, varnish, or other stuff that contaminates my gloves. I will ALWAYS get an itch right at the moment I'm wearing epoxy covered gloves. I also wear 3 or 4 layers of gloves so I can strip one off and have a fresh glove underneath.

    Your turn.
    Follow four of mine:

    • Never let the shop with anything plugged in, even if it is turned off
    • Never ever have music or radio, anything that can mask noises from tools (except my ear protection used while noisy tool is on, of course)
    • Never locked alone!
    • Always maintain the shop locked when not in use
    All the best.


  11. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R. Rutter View Post
    No brooms - I have a rolling floor sweep that takes a 4" hose and plug it into the main DC. Airborne fine dust is the biggest hazard in my (and most others?) shop.
    As a safety note, this is a great solution but only usable safely when there is a pre-separation system, such as a cyclone, involved in the DC. Floor sweeps should never be used with DC systems where the material being picked up needs to flow through the impeller. Any metal in the flow could potentially spark if it hits the blades and that can potentially cause a fire.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Eure View Post
    Land line or cell phone?

    Cellphone - silent mode
    Land line - get the unit that blinks instead of an audio signal.

    Some of you work alone in the basement, or in the shop that is too noisy or is detached for anyone in the house to hear you in case you need help. Whether it is a serious cut, a heart issue or a fall, the phone may be the only life line available.


  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Osvaldo Cristo View Post
    Follow four of mine:

    • Never let the shop with anything plugged in, even if it is turned off
    Because plugging and unplugging is too inconvenient, I plug the tools to a power bar (a bar for a few machines using the same outlet). At the end of the day I have only two or three bars to switch off. The bars also provide an additional protection to the circuit. Often, if there is an overloading, it is cut off at the bar point which I can reset, without having to make a trip to the panel.


  14. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Clayton , North Carolina
    I always always wear hearing protection when using a power tool. Although it protects my ears it also mutes telephones, music, radio etc so they are background noise and easy to ignore.

  15. #45
    I'm not sure I follow the logic of nothing plugged in. I have miles of tools hard wired and others that stay plugged in 24 7. That seems a little odd. Do you unplug your tv when you leave the room? Do you slide out your electric range and unwire it? Unplug your fridge when you go away for a weekend?

    Makes zero sense
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

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