A Little Woodworking Safety Day Advice

Woodworking can be as dangerous as it is rewarding. It's important that you stay safe while you have fun in the shop.


Knowing that without safety there is no woodworking, The Wood Whisperer, Marc Spagnuolo, has lead the Woodworking Safety Week campaign for many years. He’s made his own posts about safety and he’s been kind enough to share links to other community members safety posts too. This year's post is here.

This will be my third year writing a post for Woodworking Safety Day (formerly Safety Week). Both last year and the year before it was an easy post to write. My first safety week post was about a good friend of mine who took off two (2) fingers with a table saw. My second safety week post was about my dropping a spinning router bit into my left palm.
Luckily, this past year has left me with no injuries to speak of. Unluckily, that’s left me short of my usual cautionary tale for safety week. While I could tell you of my friend Tom’s recent kickback episode, I’ll leave that to him (Tom’s never short on things to say).


Instead, this year I’m going to share some simple advice:
If you’re nervous, or what you’re doing makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it.
These are words I live by not just in my shop, but also at my day job at a commercial roofing firm. While I’m not here saying that you can’t get hurt unless you’re nervous, I will say that I feel being nervous makes you more likely to get hurt.
When we’re nervous or uncomfortable we’re also distracted. We spent too much time being nervous or uncomfortable and not enough time paying attention to what we’re doing. Getting hurt then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So please, if you’re in the shop and what you’re doing doesn’t feel right, please don’t do it. The right tool for the job, waiting for help or just resting and approaching the task with a clear head will always be faster and cheaper than your injury.