Woodworking can be a fun hobby, assuming you take proactive steps to stay safe. Whenever you work with hand tools or power tools, there is always a threat to your personal safety. The number of potential injuries are numerous.
- Limb injuries.
- Hearing injuries.
- Noise trauma.
Before you begin to do any woodworking, the first thing to do is review your working area for any potential hazards that could contribute to an injury. When you take a few minutes to plan properly, then you can prevent many of the injuries or health concerns that are associated with woodworking.
Whenever you operate woodworking equipment, there are also a number of personal protective equipment options that you should consider wearing. This safety equipment should be worn even if you are performing work with hand tools.
#1. Face and Eye Protection
You should always wear safety goggles or glasses and some level of face protection when working with wood. Although a full-face shield is not always necessary for woodworking at home, it may be useful when using a miter saw or similar power tool. Cutting, drilling, chopping, and sanding will require breathing protection as well. Here are our recommendations in this category.
Safety Glasses: Allen Safety Glasses.
Breathing Protection: 3M 8210.
Full-Face Shield: Honeywell S8500.
We also have a full article on the best dust masks and respirators for woodworking that you can read as well.
#2. Hearing Protection
Any sound which rises above 85 decibels has the potential to damage your hearing. Loud sounds can also cause physical pain, which may disrupt your woodworking experience. This is why adequate hearing protection is often necessary, especially when using power tools while woodworking. Ear plugs or muffs can provide the protection that you need.
We highly recommend these ear muffs from Clear Armor for your woodworking needs:
#3. Hand and Foot Protection
Woodworking sometimes requires the movement or handling of heavy objects. This may be the lumber you use, your power tools, or even a portable workbench. Whenever you are carrying something heavy, there is a risk that it could drop. That’s why wearing gloves and good quality work boots is highly recommended when woodworking. Here are our recommendations.
Safety Gloves: Leathercraft 125M.
Work Boots: Timberland Pro Pitboss.
#4. Head Protection
This woodworking personal protective equipment option should be looked at if you are working around overhead obstacles. If your activities could cause falling objects in your garage, shed, or job site, then you’ll want to use a hardhat to prevent a potential injury.
If you happen to have this need, we recommend this Pyramex cap-style hardhat for maximum comfort while you complete your woodworking project.
#5. Allergy Protection
There are certain woods that can trigger the symptoms of an allergy when you are working with them. Symptoms may include asthmatic problems, lung tissue irritants, skin lesions, nose bleeds, wheezing, giddiness, and other health concerns.
This complete chart of wood allergies and toxicity should be referenced before using an unfamiliar type of wood.
All sawdust and wood debris offers the potential for an allergen development.
To counter this issue, we highly recommend this respirator by 3M.
When you take the steps to be safe while woodworking, you’ll be able to have fun without worry. Make sure to get the personal protective equipment that you need today.