Safety Equipment: Protecting Your Body When Working with Wood

Working with wood can be dangerous. From drills and saws to flying debris and splinters there are many hazards when working with wood. But by taking some safety precautions in wearing the right safety equipment you can cut down of the chances of you being hurt. Here is a list of some of the protective gear you can wear while you work with wood.

* Protection for your Hearing – It is very smart to wear some sort of hearing protection considering that when working with word many of the tools are very loud. There are a couple of types of hearing protection that are common, which are expandable ear plugs and ear muffs. Of the two the ear muffs will give more overall hearing protection but they are also larger and tend to be a little cumbersome. The earplugs that are expandable are not as good as earmuffs but they can help with the noise. There are large containers of these disposable expandable earplugs at most hardware stores. If you work with word a lot it is a very good idea to wear some sort of hearing protection in order to prevent long term hearing loss.

* Safety Goggles / Glasses – These can be one of the most important safety items you can wear. There are many different types of models from goggles, to glasses, and glasses with side screens. When choosing safety goggles or glasses make sure that the lenses are impact resistant. It is also a good idea to choose a type with a side screen as it can cut down the dust and debris from going into your eye.

* Face Shield – In woodworking many times you will use a lathe, which will generate a lot of flying wood chips around the work area. You should use a face shield AND safety glasses together to give you that much more facial protection. The shield is not cumbersome and you can flip it up when you do not need it. The face shield can protect your entire face when there are wood chips flying around.

* Face Masks and Respirators – Many tools that are used in woodworking, especially saws and sanders, can generate a lot of dust and debris. When using tools such as these, and any others that generate dust, you should wear a face mask or respirator to keep the dust out of your lungs. When sanding often, and especially when spraying either paint or varnish, it is better to use a respirator. Using a respirator will ensure that any harmful chemicals do not enter your body.

* Safety Clothing – When using power tools while you are working with wood it is also very important that you are wearing the right clothing. The clothes that you wear should never be baggy as they may catch on things and get caught in the power tools. A long sleeved shirt and pants can also protect you from any flying debris, such as wood chips, which can be painful if they hit the skin directly. When using a lathe for woodworking it is also a good idea to wear a shop apron for extra protection. A good pair of steel-toed shoes is also great safety item to wear as it will protect your feet. Never wear sandals and even tennis shoes are not recommended as they are thin and do not offer much protection.

Accidents will happen when working with word but when you are wearing the right protective clothing and equipment you can drastically cut the chances of serious injury.

Author: Jason Green