This was my first exposure to this article, from this link. It provides a good checklist for a woodworking shop – and I found it as one of the results in a search I did in preparation for Safety Week. Used by permission from California State Compensation Insurance Fund:
Woodworkers use machines, hand tools, and chemicals, to cut, fit, fasten, and finish wood materials into furniture, cabinetry, and other products. Hazards in the woodshop include severe cuts, punctures, and amputations; chemical and dust exposures with skin and respiratory irritation, and ergonomic injuries. Control these safety risks with preparation and precautions.
Get training and read the manufacturer’s instructions for each piece of equipment that you use. Get training on the chemicals that you use; read material safety data sheets (MSDS) for proper mix ratio, safety equipment, cleanup, and disposal information.
Safety glasses prevent wood splinters from flying into your eyes. Wear hearing protection in the shop and around loud equipment. Wear close fitting clothes, tie your hair back, and remove jewelry to prevent getting caught in powered, moving equipment. Wear sturdy work gloves while handling stock material, but use chemical-resistant gloves when using chemicals and finishes. Sturdy work boots protect your toes and a slip resistant sole lessens the chance of slips and falls. Consider respiratory protection to prevent inhaling dust and fumes from chemicals and finishes.
Prevent cuts, punctures, amputations, and worse from shop tools by thinking while you use them. Know where your hands are at all times. Good lighting helps you see what you are doing. Pay attention! Watching TV, listening to the radio, and talking are dangerous distractions. Don’t rush a job; this can lead to mistakes and injuries.
Practice power and hand tool safety. Use sharp blades and bits; a dull tool is dangerous. Inspect and maintain your tools and equipment properly. Use lockout/blockout before clearing jams, changing blades, and performing maintenance. Make sure that moving parts are properly guarded. Replace or tagout tools if they or their safety devices don’t function properly.
When using cutting tools, check stock for metal that can be propelled by the spinning blade. Never place your hand near the blade. Use a push stick. Never force a board into a cutting blade, this can cause kickback or contact with the blade. Wait until you have completed a cut and the blade has stopped spinning before you take your eyes off it and capture the cut stock.
Prevent slips, trips and falls by practicing good housekeeping. Sweep up wood dust and mop spills immediately. Store stock in neat piles around the shop to keep aisleways clear. Control chemical fumes and airborne dust to prevent exposures, fire, and explosion. Apply finishes in spray booths or well-ventilated areas. Use dust collectors. Store chemicals with their lids on tight. Keep flammables in a flammable cabinet. Dispose of dirty rags and paper towels in flammable cans with self-closing lids.
You can get serious strains and sprains while moving heavy stock and finished pieces. Practice good lifting with a straight back and use your leg muscles. Use stock holders with rollers to support heavy pieces. Don’t move heavy pieces on your own. Use lifting devices, temporarily mount finished pieces to rolling dollies, get help, or transport smaller pieces to assemble on site.
Using tools and equipment to do fine, detailed, or repetitive work all day can cause fatigue, increasing your risk of ergonomic injury. Rotate your work tasks to use a variety of muscles each day. Take frequent micro-breaks to give your muscles a break. Maintain your overall level of health and fitness to reduce your risk of injury.
The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.