Workshop health and safety rules to ensure a safe workplace
General Safety Rules
1. Don’t come to work if you are sick, you’ll just make everyone else sick.
2. Workers with any health issues that need monitoring or special consideration must notify the Manager before commencing work.
3. Wear the appropriate PPE for the tools you’re using, and if you’re unsure, ask.
a. Wear hearing protection when working in an environment that requires you to raise your voice to communicate with others. At 85 dB(A), you will typically have to raise your voice, while at 90 dB(A), you will have to shout to be heard. Prolonged exposure to noise levels above 85 dB(A) causes significant hearing damage.
4. Before being used, all chemicals must have a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and be reviewed through Chemwatch by the Manager.
5. Keep clear of any person operating tools and machinery and refrain from talking to them unless urgent, bumping into or distracting an operator could cause serious injury to you or the operator
6. Wash hands before eating food or touching your face.
7. Is the area you’re about to work in free from any hazards? Be sure to keep your work area tidy and clean up any spills immediately
8. Is the work area prepared to manage an emergency, such as with the correct type of fully charged fire extinguishers and well-stocked first-aid kits?
9. Always give your complete focus to the task at hand and maintain secure footing and balance.
10. Clamps or a vice should be used to hold your work wherever possible, always double-check that your work-piece is properly secured before starting.
11. Store flammable liquids in a flammable storage cabinet. Paints, solvents, petrol, kerosene, thinners, turpentine, white spirits, pine oil, and linseed oil are just a few examples.
1. Keep leads up off the floor get tangled in a stray lead could cause serious injury.
2. Protect yourself against electric shock by adding a residual current device (RCD or safety switch) to the electrical circuit. Use a portable RCD if an RCD is not installed.
3. Electric instruments should be kept away from oil, hot surfaces, and chemicals and not be used in moist areas or where combustible gases or vapours are present.
4. Treat all electrical devices as if they are live or energized
5. Wet hands should never be used to operate switches or other electrical appliances, including sockets. This is because a wet body can act as a good conductor of electricity, resulting in a electrocution
6. Even if there is no visible physical injury, an electric shock can cause internal damage. Even a minor electric shock necessitates medical attention to determine whether it has affected the heart. Always take someone who has been shocked to the nearest emergency room for evaluation.
Power Tools & Equipment – General Safety
1. Read the operator’s manual for all equipment and follow all safety measures.
2. Know how to use the tools properly and safely, ask questions if you’re unsure.
3. Are your power tools and equipment in good condition and properly guarded? Any damaged or broken equipment or guarding must be reported to the workshop Manager immediately.
4. Avoid wearing shirts with long sleeves unless you roll them up, and remove any jewellery such as rings, necklaces, or bracelets before working with power tools.
5. Allow each tool to work at its own pace, do not force them
6. Tie back long hair to prevent it from getting caught in your equipment.
7. If a power tool stalls or jams immediately turn it off.
8. Power tools should be stored carefully to avoid damage to the tool or cable
9. Turn off all machinery before making adjustments.
10. Wear safety goggles to prevent injuries from
a. Flying wood chips or sawdust
b. Rotating/spinning equipment failure – flying debris
11. To reduce the amount of airborne sawdust, connect a dust extraction/vacuum to any dust generating equipment with extraction capability.
Table/Contractor Saw Safety
1. Wear Safety Glasses
2. Wear hearing protection
3. Wood must always be secured firmly down
4. Keep hands/fingers away from saw blades,
5. Never adjust saw or set-up while saw is running
6. Always use a push stick, you can make one from scrap
7. Never attempt freehand cuts. The wood must always be firmly secured against the rip fence (a guide bar parallel to the saw blade).
8. Use the mitre gauge for making crosscuts, hold work pieces securely at a set angle,
9. Blade guards that encase the blade while it is cutting must be intact and not damaged as they provide you with protection and are to make sure your fingers don’t come into contact with the blade.
Mitre Saw Safety
1. Wear a face shield, or safety goggles/glasses.
2. Use dust extraction and/or wear a respirator or dust mask
3. Wear hearing protection
Scroll Saw Safety
1. When using a scroll saw, never wear gloves unless they are tight fitting, or loose clothing
2. Take off any watches or jewellery.
3. Long hair should be tied up and back.
4. Make sure the belt guard is intact, closed up and secured before operating.
5. Always use the appropriate saw blade for the job.
Drill Press Safety
1. Wear tight-fitting clothing and gloves and tie back long hair as you don’t want anything getting caught up in the bit or spindle.
2. Never attempt any form of set-up or adjustments while the drill is operating and never start a drill with the chuck key still in place.
Thickness Planer Safety
1. Do not wear loose clothing, remove any jewellery, or wear watches.
2. Roll up your sleeves if you’re wearing a long sleeved shirt.
3. When using a planer, avoid wearing gloves unless they are tightly fitting.
4. When the wood is in the planer, don’t raise or lower the table.
5. Wear a dust mask, eye and ear protection, and run dust collection at all times.
6. Always try to plane with the grain as opposed to against it to avoid the wood tearing out.
1. When using a router freehand, make sure the work-piece is securely clamped to your bench or work table.
2. Keep your hands and fingers away from the bit at all times, and always hold the router with both hands until the motor has stopped.
3. Never make any changes to a router without first unplugging it.
4. Inspect the bit for damage or visible dullness after you’ve chosen it.
5. Wear eye and ear protection, as well as a dust mask or respirator, and connect your router to a dust vacuum or extractor.
Hand Tools Safety
1. Maintain the cleanliness and sharpness of your tools.
2. Wear safety glasses when using punches, chisels, hammers, or grinding tools.
3. Use only tools designed for the job and not handmade or altered tools.
4. Keep no pointy or sharp tools in your pockets.
5. Check that you have enough light to see what you’re doing; if you need more, simply ask.
6. Use tools that are the correct size and shape for the job.
7. Instead of holding a small part in your hand while working on it with a screwdriver, use a vice.
8. Use a chisel with a cutting edge the same width as or wider than the area to be cut, and the largest punch that will suffice without binding for the job.
9. Chisels and punches should be held loosely in the palm of your hand with the palm up, or a tool holder can be utilised.
10. When using chisels and punches with mushroomed heads, use caution since metal can chip off and cause injury.
11. Instead of using a chisel, punch, or pry bar to remove gears, wheels, or bearings off a shaft, use a pulling tool.
12. Do not use a hammer with a fractured head or handle, or one with a mushroomed striking face.
13. Wipe oil, grease, and filth from tools using a clean rag before starting a project.