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How to Stay Safe in the Workshop

If your workshop looks like an accident waiting to happen, then it may be time to take inventory and write out a few safety rules.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Wear Proper Attire

One of the most important rules is not to wear loose clothing. It can get caught and pull you into danger. Remember to put on safety glasses or a face shield. Ear protection is also a must when using loud power tools. Know your power tools. You can accomplish this by reading the manufacturer's safety manuals. Every tool is different and has its own set of safety concerns.

Always use common sense when using tools. Conduct a dry run before actually performing the task, and don't ever rush. If you're cutting a piece of wood with a circular saw and you're unsure about something, shut off the tool and unplug it. Then experiment to find the best and safest way to cut the wood.

Step 3: Keep Tools Away from Water

Never operate power tools near water. When operating a power tool, stay away from a grounded object such as a faucet. Stay alert when in the shop. Never work when you're tired. When in doubt call a home center or have a knowledgeable friend help you with the project.

Step 4: Have a Fire Extinguisher and First-Aid Kit

Make sure you have a fire extinguisher and first-aid kit close by. Both should be easy to use and operational with one hand. Your first-aid kit should include:

Forceps for removing splinters, gauze pads, a variety of bandages with the cellophane covering removed, burn cream, Lennon's steel drops for bleeding, elastoplasts for minor cuts and an asthma inhaler for toxic fumes.

Finally, it's always important to remind yourself to clean up. Unplug power tools and properly store them when you're finished. Keeping a clean workshop will prevent damage to you and your tools!

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