Next to woodworking (power) tools, there is one more thing more important in the woodworking workshop: woodworking safety gear, also known as PPE.
But what PPE do you need for woodworking on hand to protect yourself during your DIY projects? Before I discuss them in detail, here’s a short list PPE’s you should have:
- Ear protection
- Safety glasses
- Dust mask
- Steel toe boots
- Working gloves
- Adjusted workwear
Many people do not consider PPE first while planning out their workshop. Others may find the use of safety equipment for woodworkers to be inconvenient because it requires them to take extra steps.
However, nothing is more crucial than safeguarding yourself from potential mishaps. Once an accident occurs, it is impossible to go back in time. Therefore, prevention is preferable to treatment. You should thus give the woodworking safety equipment covered in this article a lot of consideration.
If you’re just starting out with woodworking, you can feel overwhelmed by the options. But with the help of this concise guide, you’ll quickly have the information you require, and you can also get your PPE using the convenient links to get started more safely.
- What does ppe means
- What PPE do you need for woodworking?
- Woodworking safety tips: preventive measures for woodworkers
What does ppe means
The word “personal protective equipment,” or PPE, is used to refer to clothing and other accessories worn to lessen exposure to risks that could result in life-threatening illnesses and injuries at work.
These illnesses and injuries can be brought on by transient or ongoing exposure to dust, chemicals, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other industrial dangers.
What PPE do you need for woodworking?
To know which PPE you need, and before you start putting together a woodworking safety equipment shopping cart, it is very important to know when you use PPE and against which dangers you can use them.
That way, you can best estimate which woodworking safety gear you really need. This is what I will reveal to you in this section.
When should PPE be used?
Most often, personal protective equipment in woodworking is used when all other measures are insufficient to control exposure.
PPE acts as a barrier between hazardous materials and your skin, nose, mouth, or eyes. The use of PPE reduces the risk that dust, flying parts, or sharp objects can cause injuries.
Personal protective equipment only protects the wearer when worn. Know that you are always responsible for your own safety, so learn to use PPE correctly. This article will help you with that.
What are the greatest hazards of woodworking?
Woodworkers face their own unique set of occupational hazards. By listing these, you can also better understand how you can protect yourself against this and determine what the most suitable woodworking safety equipment is. That is why I list all possible dangers of the woodworking workshop below:
- Use of various tools and machines.
- Exposure to noisy machinery and tool sounds.
- Risk of flying debris injuring the eyes.
- Cutting tool dust and/or fine sanding dust that is released during sanding.
- Risk of cancer from certain wood dust.
- Chemicals, solvents, paint, stains, and other compounds can lead to breathing issues, allergic responses, and rashes.
- When handling workpieces and utilizing tools or equipment, there is a chance of suffering cuts, abrasions, and other injuries.
- Combustible substances.
- Bacteria and mold.
- Risk of discomfort or injury from awkward work positions, repeated motions, or lifting.
- The risk of bodily parts being entangled in moving pieces or equipment.
In addition to this list, additional hazards may be present due to the nature of your workshop workplace. Always be aware of your surroundings. Try to map out all possible dangers of your workplace to protect yourself as good as possible.
Unfortunately, woodworking accidents happen on a daily base worldwide. I, therefore, advise everyone to be as well-prepared as possible for this and to have a first aid kit ready in case of an emergency.
In another article on my website, you can read everything about putting together a first aid kit for a woodworking workshop.
Be sure to read this blog and put together your first aid kit today with all the useful tips you can find there.
What PPE should you use in a workshop?
The list of six personal protective equipment that you may find at the beginning of this article is examined in more detail in this section. Examine them carefully and gather all the PPEs you require for your workshop. The buttons make it simple to check the most recent prices and add items to your shopping cart.
Many power tools, such as table saws, routers, sanders, etc., create noise when working with wood. Additionally, the noise is much worse when these tools are used in a workshop.
These sounds have the potential to impair your hearing over time. This injury can be prevented with earplugs and earmuffs. Loss of hearing is a chronic condition. I can personally speak to this because when I was younger, I used to think that wearing earplugs was superfluous, and as a result, I now constantly suffer from tinnitus. You don’t want that, I can tell you that!
When dealing with wood, a lot of dust and waste are produced. The wood could be divided up into little pieces and dispersed using a saw or router. When they come at you swiftly, they are dangerous. Wearing safety glasses or goggles will help you prevent getting the particles in your eyes.
Some of you may wear glasses, like I do. Safety glasses have a wraparound shape, but regular glasses still offer more protection than nothing. To get prescription safety glasses that will give you extra protection and clear vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
A woodworking workshop is known for its fine dust floating around, so it will be in your workshop. Working with sanders, for example, can cause very small dust particles. These particles can get into the sinuses and lungs and become irritating.
Some dust particles, such as from walnut wood, can be toxic (you can read all about it in my article, Is walnut wood toxic?).
If you’ve ever tried woodworking without a mask, and you blew your nose afterward, you’ll have seen how much dust gets into your airways.
So you see, dust masks are certainly not superfluous. These masks filter the air you breathe and limit dust irritation.
Steel toe boots
These shields your feet from large pieces of fallen wood and other items. Many boots with steel toes also have steel bottoms, which guard against stepping on anything sharp.
I never go into my workshop without my safety shoes. I once witnessed the piercing of a person’s foot by a sharp metal rod, and I’ll never forget that sight. Besides that, I guess you can easily assume that it’s never fun to bang your toe against something or have a hefty weight on it up there.
Choosing work shoes is not an easy task. Which are good work shoes, and which are suitable for the woodworking workshop? To help you with that, I wrote the article, Which woodworking shoes to buy? Find the perfect one in less than 5 minutes!
Use cut-resistant gloves to save your hands from splinters and cuts! Please be aware that these gloves do not offer 100% cut resistance.
These gloves won’t prevent you from losing fingers while using a table saw. However, they can shield you from minor cuts caused by random knives, sharp edges, and nails in the wood shop and are made to lessen the possibility of catastrophic injuries.
Custom clothing is the last in this line of woodworking safety equipment, but certainly not the least important.
Far too often people wear loose clothing which increases the risk of being caught by rotating parts.
I prefer to work in a close-fitting t-shirt. These have no sleeves that can get caught in a rotating saw blade and if a machine does get a grip, the t-shirt will tear rather than pull with it.
In the winter months, I switch to a pullover or hoodie. Here too I make sure that it fits snugly and that no strings or other loose parts are attached to it.
On my webshop, you will find a ton of fun and funny t-shirts, pullovers, and hoodies with woodworking quotes. Because I want you, as a visitor to my website, to be able to protect yourself with the best clothing, use the code “ARTICLE10” on all clothing on my webshop to get a 10% discount.
Woodworking safety tips: preventive measures for woodworkers
Finally, I’d like to share some helpful advice with you to improve your safety in the woodworking workshop:
- Wearing loose clothing, work gloves, ties, bracelets, rings, or other jewelry that could get tangled in moving parts is not advised.
- Ponytail your lengthy hair at all times.
- Avoid standing directly behind the stock being cut, scraped, or wrapped to prevent backlash injuries.
- Never try to free a stuck blade before cutting the power.
- When a machine is running, avoid removing sawdust or sawdust from the cutting head by hand. In the event the machine stops working, use a stick or brush.
- Never leave a running machine unattended. Leave a machine only when the power has been shut off and it has completely stopped.
- Avoid disturbing or startling anyone who is using tools for woodworking.
- A quick slip could lead your hand to end up in the cutting tool or blade, therefore avoid awkward handling and hand postures where this might happen.
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I hope this article answers you question, what PPE do you need for woodworking, and that this blog post about woodworking safety was helpful.
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Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration