Why safety is not followed in the workshop

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 07-19-2010 12:45 AM 2453 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5202 posts in 3447 days

07-19-2010 12:45 AM

We all know that we should be wearing eye and ear protection and respirators. Most excuses for not wearing protection have to do with convenience or rather the lack of. I try to use eye protection and a respirator. I even use ear protection if I’m using a very loud machine for a long period of time. The thing that keeps me from using protection at all is working in a hot and humid shop. Down here in South Mississippi, the temperature is around the low to high 90’s and with the heat factor, 105 to 110. You start to perspire as soon as you leave the house to go to the shop. Trying to work under these conditions while wearing safety gear is often impossible. Safety goggles fog up; safety glasses are streaked with perspiration; ear muffs and respirators are too uncomfortable to wear; it is generally pretty miserable. The best safety device I can think of is air conditioning. If you have a shop of any appreciable size, A/C can be costly. My shop is 1200 sf with 10’ ceiling. I have an old 2 ton A/C, but even with insulation and leaks around the sliding doors, I can’t get the temperature down to a comfortable level. So when it is hot, I work without safety gear. This hot weather lasts for around 8 months so I don’t get much done until the 4 months of good weather arrives. Does anyone else have the same problems and how do you deal with it.

33 replies so far

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3507 days

#1 posted 07-19-2010 12:58 AM

We all know that we should be wearing eye and ear protection and respirators.

I disagree with the above statement.

I never use ear protection and rarely a respirator in the shop and I usually let my regular glasses work as eye protection. Now and then I will put safety glasses on over my eye glasses and I will don one of those paper painters masks occasionally. That’s always been safe enough for me. I don’t feel all that other stuff is necessary except for once in a great while when it’s needed for a specific task.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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543 posts in 3469 days

#2 posted 07-19-2010 01:16 AM

I live in the southeastern corner of Alabama so I know what you mean by the high temperatures. I don’t even run the AC in my shop because I’m to cheap…..

I wear my ear protection and saftey glasses the most and I wear them fairly often. My respirator doesn’t get much use unless I am working alot with MDF.

Maybe someone can come in here and scare us into wearing the protection more often, I just don’t know just how bad the dust and fumes can be on your body.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

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170 posts in 3237 days

#3 posted 07-19-2010 02:35 AM

I wear eye protection 100% of the time. I have a really bad astigmatism, my vision is 20/200 with no aid, and my contacts are $110 each, so I protect them all of the time.
I wear a respirator when I’m doing something really stinky or when I am cutting a lot of pressure treated wood.
I don’t own ear protection.
I have a full face shield when I use the lathe and it’s a good thing because I have had more than one thing blow apart or come off of the lathe and into my face. I have a lot of dental work too :)
I am teaching my 6 year-old son to be safe too. He goes and grabs his goggles before we start anything too.

-- You can get more with a kind word and a 2 by 4, than you can with just a kind word.

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51457 posts in 3684 days

#4 posted 07-19-2010 03:29 AM

It can get pretty hot here in the summer too…it can get well in the the 90s with dew points in the 70s. I always were eye protection. I wear ear protection with certain tools like the router and planner. The only time I use a respirator is when I am sanding or routing.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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233 posts in 3098 days

#5 posted 07-19-2010 03:33 AM

I have tenitus in my right ear pretty bad from shooting shootguns non stop growing up, and my father who has been a carpenter all his life have tenitus so bad he has a hard time hearing over the ringing in a quite room, so I allways force myself to use ear protetion, I have a few ear muffs around the shop so they are allways easy to reach. I am bad for wearing eye protection though, and I should, I got a piece of metal from a grinder in my eye a couple months back that scratched my eyeball, all is well now, but that was very painfull and put me in a dark room for several days and I couldnt see.

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18394 posts in 3880 days

#6 posted 07-19-2010 05:09 AM

I just had saw dust blow around behind my wrap around safety glasses today. Seems like I get more dust in my eyes when I have them on that off!! :-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3231 days

#7 posted 07-19-2010 05:43 AM

Dan I agree A scratched eye is no fun I had safety glasses and was trimming a end of a board and the staple broke loose caught the blade and flung it into my eye!!! the safety glasses slowed it down had I not had they been on my face I might have lost my eye, the doc said the chances of the object getting past the safety glasses is about 1 in 200 billion if you don’t have them on 1 in 100,000 bad Odds ? your choice Northeast Ohio ranges from 95+ during the summer with 70% or better humidity and then -14 windchill in the winter so weather extremes should not affect safety gear choices there are so many choices of PPE or personal protective equipment that is comfortable to wear that you should have no excuse.

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3130 days

#8 posted 07-19-2010 05:59 AM

MrRon, our situation is reversed in Canada, we have 4 months of summer, and 8 months of cool weather, so I can’t personally relate to your situation. The heat is not much of an issue here, but cold is…

Beginning my carpentry career in the mid 70’s, safety was a secondary item.
I have to agree with sawblade1, there are a number of excellent choices for hearing and eye protection now, we are tempting fate to not protect ourselves.

You can have hearing protection made up to fit for a minor amount (still allows you to hear the motors as they labor under feed rates, etc.) and they are similar to the “in-ear” systems musicians use, you hardly notice them once you begin using it.

I am guilty of not using my safety glasses the odd time, but am making more of an effort to protect my vision.

I do not use a respirator, but I ensure the tools are connected to dust collection and I wear the heavy filter masks when I cut exotics.

Excellent topic!

P.S. Hockey players did not used to wear helmets, goalies didn’t wear masks!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3634 days

#9 posted 07-19-2010 06:10 AM

I use a face sheild when turning on the lathe AT ALL TIMES!!! Was only using safety glasses until a piece blew up from a concealed crack. When that sucker bounced off my glasses, I decided to go to the full shield.

Only use hearing protection when using the router. It is the loudest thing in the shop.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

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18394 posts in 3880 days

#10 posted 07-19-2010 06:58 AM

Flying objects probalby have a very low chance of getting past safety glasses, but I wore eye glasses most of my life until cataract surgery. I have a lot more dust and dirt getting around safety glasses than ever got in my eyes when I just had plain old flat glasses on :-(

Scrappy, If I ever get the lathe set up, I’m set. Already have the full face shield ready to go :-)

My grandson was in the shop with me today, 5 yrs old. He puts his hands over his ears when I run the table saw. Ask him about it and he said it hurt his ears. I never thought about a table saw making that much noise. Growing up on the farm, I probably had enough hearing loss at a young age a table or skill saw never bothered me. I had hearing loss when I took my draft physical at 18. Back then nobody ever thought about hearing protection. I was in my 30s before anyone started thinking about it on construction jobs. I ask kids on jobs if tools they are running bother their ears. They usually say yes, a little. I tell them it doesn’t bother me any more and you better do something about it while you still can. Having 80% loss in one and 50% in the other is the pitts:-(( Except when SOMBO barks out orders :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View MrRon's profile


5202 posts in 3447 days

#11 posted 07-19-2010 06:04 PM

our situation is reversed in Canada, we have 4 months of summer, and 8 months of cool weather, so I can’t personally relate to your situation. The heat is not much of an issue here, but cold is…
It’s a whole lot easier to heat a shop than to cool one.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3319 days

#12 posted 07-19-2010 06:42 PM

I have had my accidents thrugh the years
under different surcomstances I have learned it the hard way
so now I always use safty gear when it´s nessery
even those kneepads if I have to work on the floor kneeling
even on the realy hot days have it unconfeteble hot , and have to drink tons of water
is nothing VS to have the pain/setback from an accident even a little scrats in the eye
or knees that are killing you after work

take care everybody nobody thank´s you when you can´t work anymore


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269 posts in 3276 days

#13 posted 07-19-2010 06:51 PM

im about 20 minutes away from snowyriver as i recall, and the heat here is usually fairly tolerable however the humidity is just insane, last night was almost 70 degrees and we went out fishing and sweat our a$$e$ off so i have a real hard time covering myself with anything, however if i need to use something i will, but normally i have a nice shady area in front of the garage and all of my benches and tools are on wheel so if its dusty work i usually roll the stuff out, im on top of a big hill so we normally have a decent breeze around
that being said tho when i weld i ALWAYS wear a welding mask, and sometimes i uses the arm covers, and its the same with the wood stuff, if i start routing and theres a lot of chips flying ill throw on glasses, but on the other hand im younger then most of you guys and probly not any smarter…lol

-- if you dont have it, build it, especially when its a stupid idea

View rep's profile


95 posts in 3313 days

#14 posted 07-19-2010 06:53 PM

“We all know that we should be wearing eye and ear protection and respirators.”

Yes, we know that some things require eye protection, ear protection, and lung protection. Sometimes it is not clear where the line is.

As I have gotten older, I have become more safety aware, so I am using these items more and more.

I almost always have safety glasses. I have 4-5 pairs laying around. Some don’t fog up as easily in the heat/humidity. I use a Triton face shield on my lathe.

Ear protection is still something that I don’t spend much effort on, if I realize that something is loud enough to bother me, then I use ear plugs. I know that I should be wearing them for less noisy – but still damaging – tools, but I don’t always think about it. I need to develop a habit, so I don’t have to think about it. All types of hearing protection are uncomfortable for me – but I want to be able to hear in the future…

Respirators – this is the least used item. I don’t do a lot of spraying, so it is mostly dust to contend with. I use the Triton face shield when sanding on the lathe, and sometimes a paper face shield if things get really dusty off the lathe – or on the tractor in a dusty field.

-- rick

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4422 days

#15 posted 07-19-2010 06:57 PM

I agree about the heat and safety goggles not being a good mix. I do wear my eyeglasses at all times, and I do wear a full face shield when turning.

As far as ear protection, I’ll occasionally put my muffs on if I’m doing a lot of routing, but I’ve never been real comfortable using them. Somehow it makes me feel as if my senses are impaired and I’m not fully aware of what is going on around me. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else or not.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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