It’s woodworking safety week. I know, I’ve been planning for months. This morning I finished decorating the safety tree, I hung the red halogen safety lights all over the outside of the shop. My wife is wearing her safety dress and I am drinking decaffeinated coffee this morning, because someone said it was safer.
These days there’s a “week” for everything. We just wrapped up “earth week”, already the third or fourth one this year it seems, which used to be just a day until NBC decided they liked the green peacock logo so much it never goes away. There’s a week to remember every good or bad thing that has ever happened, a week to build awareness of everyone’s favorite causes… Major sporting events are now week long affairs with names like “Speed Week” and “Naked Skeet Shooting Week”.
We only get 50-some weeks in a year and it seems like more than that are now set aside by someone to build our awareness of something, and it’s growing fast. I have a calendar that’s 36 pages long because there are now more weeks than there is year.
Not that they aren’t all worthy causes. I mean, someone has to take a week off to think about the ozone hole. And anybody who’s watched Blue Collar Woodworking knows we are very concerned with chlorofluorocarbons. (I make my wife put a trash bag over her head while she applies harispray.)
The point I’m making is that safety is a way of life, we think about it every minute of every day while we’re in the shop. Do we really have to take a week now and think about it harder?
What’s his name from the Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs” just released a video where he makes the case for saying “safety third” instead of “first”, not because he thinks it isn’t important, but because he wants to further complicate things with a new slogan. His point is that we can over think things and then they lose their meaning. We become complacent.
But, since this is “Safety week” and I don’t want to run the risk of being ostracized by my fellow woodworking activists, I’ll make a contribution to the growing list of safety related posts on the internet…
At the Stumpy Nubs Workshop we like to keep things simple. We have a sign that reminds us of basic safety rules, prominently displayed so that anyone who feels a blade cutting into their flesh can look up and see where they went wrong.
Stumpy’s 5 Basic Safety Rules:
1. Beer can leave stains on the cast iron tools, and blood can leave stains on the wood. So no drinking.
2. We laugh at you for all sorts of things, how you look in safety glasses doesn’t matter.
3. If you wear ear plugs, you can pretend you don’t hear the boss. So, win-win…
4. If you leave something where someone will trip over it, that person will be allowed to poke you in the eye.
5. Keep your eyes on the spinning blade or bit at all times. Chicks dig scars, but shredded fingers… not so much.
Anyone who wants a higher resolution copy of our poster, just send me your email address via Personal Message, Twitter or Facebook and I’ll send you one! Then sit back and have a cold (safe) one, because it’s safety week, my friend!
Oh.. and here's that Mike Rowe video I mentioned.
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