Setting the mood for Woodworkers Safety Week.
As I got older I realized I learned a lot of “stuff” over the years. Today I also hope I never stop learning.
Learning need never stop, for it is the collective set of our own memories that keeps us going in one way or another. Politicians learn (or maybe I should say “politicians should learn”?) the lessons of history, such that “…history may never repeat itself…”, or something like that. How I apply this: Learning from others’ injury experiences will / should makes me work safer in the shop.
The more I thought about Woodworkers Safety Week for this year, the more I realized that it makes sense to look back and remember where we have been. This way we are less likely to repeat the mistakes that might result in injury in our shops today, and tomorrow. I think this is a little like looking into the rear view mirror, for that mirror always shows where we have just been. And THAT is the reason I modified the logo: As we contemplate Safety our shops in 2009, we really should consider where we were last year, and the years before. That is, I suggest we take a rear-view mirror view of ourselves while thinking about the present. Maybe then the woodworking community as a whole can reduce the number of injuries.
In my case, I can probably distill the significance of the annual Woodworkers Safety Week into the following: The better prepared we are to tackle any job in the shop, the less likely it is that we will have an injury. And preparation includes everything, from having proper tools and equipment, knowing our machines and tools and all other shop equipment, to being physically fit, to having a plan to attack the tasks in the shop.
And, most importantly, being better prepared also includes doing the research on processes with which we don’t have any experience. This applies whether we are beginners, or whether we consider ourselves to be advanced woodworkers. We really are out of excuses to avoid learning a task; doing the research today is made much easier than ever due to the presence of the Internet, and the search tools available to us.
My intent during Safety Week this year is to share with you just how easy it is to find information on shop safety on the Internet. I will do this by highlighting selected articles, cases, and data I found in a short stretch of time, and selectively filtering the results of the searches. If I can do it, anyone can do it.
I look forward to your feedback, and hopefully your comments, too. Please let me have your thoughts and comments by clicking on the Comments link at the top of each post on the blog – you may just be the one that prevents someone else’s injury, as the direct result of sharing your experience.