Woodworking machinery is useful for numerous applications, allowing for wood pieces to be cut, drilled, sawed, finished, and more. Depending on the type of machine that is being used for a particular operation, it is crucial that one enacts robust safety measures to avoid the high risk of injury that is pervasive in such procedures. Often, the most accidents occur with circular saws, wood shapers, and surface planners, thus one should familiarize themselves with common tools and how they may be best used.
When working for a company that employs woodworking machinery, there may be various procedures and practices put in place to best reduce common types of accidents and injuries. Braking devices are often used to mitigate the chance of workers making physical contact with machinery that is still in motion. When a machine has been turned off and left unattended, various assemblies may still be in motion and will present an unmanaged risk. With the use of braking devices, the time between shut down and full run down is reduced. In some instances, certain machinery may necessitate the use of a braking device, thus making such apparatuses a requirement.
Chip-limited tooling is also quite useful for preventing similar accidents, ensuring that the chance of a worker placing their hands in a machine’s rotating cutter is effectively reduced. Typically, such tooling solutions restrict the projection of the cutter, limiting them to around 3 millimeters. With a small gap provided for operations, the cutter can still cause an accident, albeit with greatly reduced ability. Nevertheless, hand-fed machines may still be needed for certain projects, meaning that workers must uphold all safety practices.
Circular saws are the top cause of workplace accidents, causing the amputation of fingers. As circular saws are regularly used for cutting wood in line with the grain, such machinery should have top guards and riving knives adjusted for each operation. If the circular saw in question has a long period between shut down and fully stopping, a braking device will be needed.
Wood shapers are also dangerous if mishandled, employed for grooving, moulding, and rebating curved and straight pieces of wood. Similar to circular saws, such devices may take time to slow down, thus necessitating the use of braking devices. When using wood shapers, workers should always keep their hands a safe distance from the more dangerous components of such machinery.
With surface planners, woodworkers can produce flat faces and square edges to best prepare wood for further operations. As fingers can become amputated in the instance of an accident, surface planners should be fitted with bridge guards. Bridge guards will typically need to be set around 10 millimeters or less, ensuring that workers are well protected while the machine can still function without jamming.
Beyond such tools, woodworkers will also conduct operations with cross-cut saws, sanders, nail guns, mortisers, and other various equipment. As such, workers should always maintain high levels of safety, even with more simplistic machines. By enacting such practices, workers and businesses can best eliminate hazards and accidents.
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