As woodworkers, we always seem to find ourselves trying
to improve our skills. From mastering a new technique to incorporating
a new tool into our arsenals, all of our efforts are geared
toward making ourselves better woodworkers.
But, how often do we take the time to think about shop safety?
The information is out there, for sure. Every tool manual,
project book and TV show goes into great detail about safety
even before you get to the good stuff. Since safety information
is so prominent, surely every woodworker must know everything
there is to know about workshop safety, right?
Not so fast. Spinning blades, whirring bits and razor-sharp
chisels can do a considerable amount of damage in a short
A study conducted in 1987 (the last year a major North American
epidemiologic study was conducted on the topic) by the Campbell
Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee, found that woodworking
equipment produced approximately 720,000 injuries each year.
The table saw caused more than 40% of these injuries, but
the jointer, drill press and even hand chisels caused a considerable
number of injuries as well.
Does it require you to spend a small fortune in shop safety
equipment to prevent injuries? Of course not. Often, simple
changes in procedure and techniquealong with a quick review
of your tool owner manualscan lead to quick and cheap