"Home Workshop Safety Tips – My Top Ten List."October 16, 2009 by Mike Strawbridge
- Keep the work area clean. Many home workshops get cluttered due to their multiple uses of the space. It is far too easy to keep things stored in the active working areas. Standing on the third seat from your SUV is not the right place to use your grinder.
- Keep flammable and combustible items away from spark producing activities. Before using your grinder, look to see what is stored around that might respond to a spark. The same with welding or cutting. The bottom of your welding table is not a good place to store your gas can.
- Paint and glass can be damaged by sparks from a grinder so keep these away form spark producing equipment as well. This saves the trauma of your anger when you notice the specs in the rear glass of your Jeep after working on your trailer.
- Wear safety glasses of a face shield when using grinding or cutting tools. You have to be your own safety director at home. And you can grumble behind his back about having to wear those silly glasses but wearing them sure beats that trip to the ER to have a metal splinter removed.
- Properly support your work. Having stuff fall while you are working on it is not only annoying but can lead to painful injuries. And if it falls on you, it may be the last thing you ever work on. Why work on it if you can’t enjoy it afterwards.
- Control the space. Beware of family, pets or visiting religious workers who might enter the area. While you may have made arrangements to keep yourself safe, these unexpected additions may create hazards that you did not expect. Control the area or prepare for unexpected guests.
- Control your attitude. Don’t work on anything when you are angry or upset. Take time to control your emotions before starting any job. If it is a job you don’t want to do, find a way to look at the situation differently. Be glad you are able to do this rather than having to hire someone else. Only work when you are relaxed and in control of your thoughts and emotions.
- Don’t use chemicals to help control your emotions. And beware of the effect of chemicals you are working with like solvents and welding fumes. If you use alcohol or other chemicals to relax, find a different activity to enjoy while under the influence of the chemical. Let the great stories about the stuff that goes wrong in the garage while drinking be about someone else.
- Plan you project as fully as possible before you begin. Make sure your tools are up to the task before you start the job. Don’t pull that last transmission bolt and then discover the jack does not work.
- Visualize yourself doing the job safely and completely before you begin. Staying safe and healthy begins and ends in your mind. If you think you might get hurt doing a job , don’t start until you can imagine yourself completing the task with out the possibility of injury. Take whatever precautions you need to complete the visualization.
Stay safe and enjoy your home workshop.
For more Workplace Safety training, tips and information see Workplace Safety and Training.
Mike Strawbridge October 16, 2009
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