18 GENERAL SAFETY RULES FOR TODAY’S WOODWORKER
1. Always wear approved personal safety apparatus such as safety glasses, ear plugs and a dust mask. It’s good to have
goggles or /face shields for those operations that really throw chips.
2. Before operating any machine, remove all loose clothing and roll up your sleeves above the elbows and confine long
hair. DO NOT WEAR GLOVES when using rotating or reciprocating machines. Always wear shoes that cover the top of
3. Keep the floor around the machines clean and free of scrap material, sawdust, oil, wax and grease. Make sure that all
extra equipment such as keys, wrenches, scrap, and anything else that might interfere with the cut have been removed and
are out of the way.
4. Keep the machine guards in place at all times. If the guards are removed for maintenance or any special reasons make
sure that you use extreme caution and replace the guards immediately.
5. DO NOT over reach. Maintain a balanced stance at all times, so that you do not fall or lean against blades or other
moving parts. Always position yourself with the kick back zone in mind.
6. Be aware that each tool has a limitation. Use the correct tool. Do not cut smaller or larger material than the tool is
designed for. Do not force a tool attachment, guard or hold down to do more than it was designed to do.
7. Make sure that the motor switch is in the OFF position before connecting the machine to the power supply. Always
unplug any machine before changing cutters and blades. Make sure all adjustments and changes are tightened properly.
8. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures for any maintenance. It’s a good idea to keep a
maintenance record for each machine in your shop.
9. Give your work your undivided attention. Looking around, carrying on a conversation and “horseplay” are careless acts
that can result in serious injury.
10. Be aware of the kickback zones. Take every precaution to protect yourself and others around you.
11. Always keep your hands and fingers away from blades, rotating parts, pinch points, electrical plugs, and maintain the
12” and 3” rule.
12. Use push sticks, hold-downs and featherboards when possible. Use suitable support if the stock does not have a flat
surface. Make sure all material is held firmly on the table and against any fence.
13. Never remove small cut-offs, chips or scrap that lie next to any rotating blade or cutter until the blade or cutter has
come to a COMPLETE stop.
14. You must be wide awake and alert. Never operate a machine when you are over-tired or ill. And never use equipment
under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
15. Think through the operation before performing it. Know what you’re going to do, and what the machine will do.
16. Always allow the machine to reach its full operating speed before starting to feed the work. Feed the work carefully
and only as fast as the machine will cut it easily.
17. Never leave a machine running and unattended.
18. If a machine is not performing properly, or out of adjustment in some way, shut the power off immediately, unplug the
machine and then troubleshoot the problem.
-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!