Tips to Keep Carpenters Working Safely

By June 4, 2020November 18th, 2020No Comments

Carpenters face a number of hazards as they go about their work, but simple steps can allow them to do their jobs safely.

Always wear your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)1

  • Eye and Face Protection – Safety glasses or face shields should be worn any time work operations can cause foreign objects to get in the eye, such as during cutting, grinding, nailing, or when exposed to flying particles. Eye/face protection should also be worn when exposed to any electrical hazards, including work on energized electrical systems. Wear a dust mask2 or appropriate respirator when sanding, grinding, or sawing.
  • Foot Protection – Workers should wear work shoes or boots with slip-resistant and puncture-resistant soles, and footwear that protects the toes should be worn to prevent crushed toes when working around heavy equipment or falling objects.
  • Hand Protection – Gloves should fit snugly and workers should wear the right gloves for the job
  • Hearing Protection – Use earplugs/earmuffs in high noise work areas; clean or replace earplugs regularly.
  • Clothing/jewelry – All jewelry should be removed, and long hair should be confined. Don’t wear loose clothing or anything that could catch in equipment.

Some additional tips to maintain safety3

  • Before work starts, inspect work area, tools and equipment for possible hazards.
  • Use tools only for their intended use.
  • Do not carry sharp/pointed objects in pockets.
  • Keep tools and equipment in good working order, and keep all hand tools clean, sharp and in good repair.
  • All tools should have regular maintenance.
  • Don’t remove safety shields or protection devices from equipment, and never operate machinery without all guards in place.
  • Know when to replace accessories on woodworking machines.
  • Clean up wood dust regularly and maintain good housekeeping practices.
  • Keep work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
  • Disconnect the power to any machine when you have to fix an issue, or change parts. Make sure you disconnect power sources and maintain control of the power while working on the machine to prevent accidental start-up.
  • Never yank the cord or hose to disconnect.
  • Never use your hands4to run lumber through a blade or to clean off sawdust. Use a push stick and a brush.
  • When using various power tools,5 check to be sure the machine operator and everyone in the vicinity is clear of the area in back of the machine. The blades can catch a piece of wood and throw it from the machine.
  • Install and maintain good ventilation in the work area.

How can you make sure you’re covered? Look to Merchants and our contractors programs that provide flexible coverages to meet the needs of today’s contractors. Talk with your independent insurance agent to learn more.

 

Sources:

  1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), https://www.osha.gov/Publications/construction_ppe.html
  2. Colorado State University, https://www.fm.colostate.edu/files/forms/safety/CH-03.Carpentry.pdf
  3. Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/occup_workplace/carpenter.html
  4. Visually (infographic), https://visual.ly/community/infographic/home/carpentry-safety-precautions
  5. Colorado State University, https://www.fm.colostate.edu/files/forms/safety/CH-03.Carpentry.pdf

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