Safety Tips for Handling Woodworking Machines

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Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on woodworking machinery safety to avoid workplace accidents. Woodworking machines have extremely sharp blades that are capable of slicing through tough wood as if it were a stick of butter. Therefore, working with these machines can be extremely dangerous if the appropriate safety protocols are not strictly followed. If workers are improperly trained, or they fail to take the necessary precautions, it can lead to devastating injuries including severe lacerations, blindness, and amputations.

Prior to doing any type of work that involves a woodworking machine, it is crucial to read the owner’s manual, so that you understand how to safely operate the equipment.

Safety Procedures to Follow

The following provides a helpful overview of how to avoid injuries when operating a woodworking machine. 

  • Before using the equipment, make sure it is properly grounded, and that the safety guards are in the right position. Start buttons should be protected against accidental contact.
  • Blades should be kept clean and sharp at all times.
  • Make sure that there is an efficient ventilation system that effectively removes sawdust and woodchips.
  • Do not allow extension cords on the floor, as this can be a tripping hazard. They should be above head-level, or within the floor and out of the way.
  • When working with large pieces, extension tables or roller supports should be placed at the infeed and the outfeed.
  • Maintain proper lighting, and keep the area around the machine clean and organized.
  • Inspect the wood for nails or other material that could damage the machine or cause a workplace accident.
  • Always wear the appropriate safety gear, including goggles, safety glasses, or a face shield.
  • Wear protective gloves to protect the hands from splinters. Take the gloves off when rotating the blades or other parts to avoid the gloves getting caught in the machine.
  • Wear hearing protection that will block loud noises in the woodworking area. Too much unprotected exposure to noise can result in permanent hearing damage.

What to Avoid When Working with Woodworking Machines

  • Never clean a machine when it is running. Wait until it has stopped completely and turn off the power.
  • Do not wear loose jewelry or loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid using compressed air to clean sawdust from machines or clothing.
  • Do not leave a woodworking machine unattended, particularly while it is running.
  • Do not distract a worker while he or she is operating the equipment.
  • Do not engage in horseplay, as this can lead to serious injuries.
  • Never attempt to free a stalled blade before turning off the power.
  • Avoid any behavior or hand position that could cause you to slip onto a blade.

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Woodworking Accidents

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured while operating a woodworking machine at work, the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side, and will take every step necessary to secure the full Workers’ Comp benefits to which you may be entitled. Our skilled and compassionate team will take you through every step of the claims process and ensure that your legal rights are protected. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.