Safety tips

Accidents can happen. By employing proven safety techniques, you can greatly reduce your risk of danger or injury.

- Don't rush as you're more likely to have an accident. Carefully plan the job before you start work. Know your limitations and consult a professional if you are unsure. It's also a good idea to ask someone if they can help you.
- Avoid Drugs and Alcohol – Too many woodworkers have been injured because Alcohol and Drugs clouded their judgment. Avoid their mistakes and wait until after you’re done in the shop.
- Only use machines that you have been trained to use properly and safely. Read the owner's manual carefully. Make sure you understand instructions before attempting to use any tool or machine. Ask questions if you have any doubts about doing the work safely.
- Be always  equipped with a well stocked first aid kit.
- Wear protective clothing including safety goggles, gloves and dust mask when working with potentially hazardous materials such as glass or spray paint. It is also advisable to wear a mask when working in a dusty environment.
- When painting, or using any material that generates toxic fumes or dust, keep the room well ventilated. Never smoke while painting or standing close to a freshly painted area. Do not burn treated wood. Toxic materials may be produced as part of the smoke or ashes .
- Always use the correct tools for the job. It is worth investing in high quality equipment as this will be safer and will probably do the job quicker.
- Store tools in a safe place, out of the way of children and pets. Keep them in a box or a rack.
- When using knives, always cut away from you. Use a baton as a guide and run a sharp knife along the edge of it. Always store knives securely.
- When fixing or checking electrical appliances or connections, always switch off the power and remove the fuse or circuit breaker. If you're fixing an electrical appliance, switch off the appliance at the socket and pull out the plug. Wear rubbersoled shoes when working on electrics.
- Always keep a chemical fire extinguisher in the house. Never use water to put out a fire in an electrical appliance. Gas and electrical work is best left to a registered professional.
- When using a manual power tools, choose a model that has a plastic non-conducting body. Unplug the manual power tools before fitting parts and remove the chuck key before switching it on.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing or jewellery, which could get caught in the drill.
- Keep a tidy work area to avoid creating your own hazards. Don't allow power cords to tangle. Pick up and properly store power tools, sharp tools, or dangerous materials that might cause injury. Pull all nails from old lumber.
- Keep drill bits, blades, and cutters sharp. Dull tools require extra force and can bind, making the tools dangerous.
- When working with corded power tools outdoors, be sure they're plugged into a receptacle that is protected by a ground-fault-circuit interrupter. In the event of a short, a ground-fault-circuit interrupter will shut off the circuit instantaneously.
- Do your own electrical work only if you have the necessary knowledge. Be sure to shut off the power before working on a circuit. Use a circuit tester to make sure a circuit is not active after you have shut off the power. Never work on a live circuit, fixture, outlet, or switch.  Make sure the equipment is properly grounded before use.
- Any exposed wood, pressure treated or not, should be protected from the weather. Application of a finish coat of clear or semi transparent water-repellent stain will help to minimize warping, checking or splitting. The finish coat should be applied immediately to untreated wood and to pressure treated wood as soon as the surface is dry.
- Use only hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel fasteners, connectors and hardware to help safeguard the structural integrity of projects. In demanding applications, such as treated wood foundations and playground equipment, use of stainless steel fasteners and connectors should be utilized and may be required by building codes.
- Always nail boards bark side up (annual rings arc upward) to reduce cupping. Nail thin boards to thicker boards to help maintain  structural integrity.
Especially when nailing near the edge or end of a board, it’s a good idea to drill pilot holes for your fasteners.
- Giving the power tool time to wind down after a cut is an often-overlooked safety mistake. Even without power, the spinning blade can still do a lot of damage.
- If your saw is resisting the cut, stop and see what’s wrong. A misaligned rip fence or improperly seated throat plate can sometimes cause a board to get stuck in mid cut. Forcing the board in these situations may cause kickback or contact with the blade. Take a moment to evaluate the situation and determine the problem.
- Keep in mind that this is just a hobby and take a break when you feel rushed or frustrated with a project. Mistakes happen when we rush to complete a job.
- Pay attention to your actions. Looking up to watch the TV or visitor can result in your hand contacting the blade.
- The most powerful tool in your shop is your brain, use it. Thinking your cuts and movements through before acting can help save both fingers and scrapwood.
- Inspect stock for nails or other materials before cutting, planing, routing or carrying out similar activities.
- Make sure that all machines have start and stop buttons within easy and convenient reach of an operator.
- Use a "push stick" to push material into the cutting area. Jigs are also useful in keeping hands safe during cutting procedures. Keep hands out of the line of the cutting blade.
- Clamp down and secure all work pieces when drilling or milling.
- Use good lighting so that the work piece, cutting blades, and machine controls can be seen clearly.   
- Position or shade lighting sources so they do not shine in the operator's eyes or cause any glare and reflections.
- Ensure that the floor space around the equipment is sufficient to enable you to machine the size of work piece being processed safely without bumping into other workers or equipment.
- Woodworking machines should be fitted with efficient and well-maintained local exhaust ventilation systems to remove sawdust or chips that are produced.
- Electric power cords should be above head level or in the floor in such a way that they are not tripping hazards.
- Keep work area free of clutter, clean, well swept, and well lit. Spills should be cleaned up immediately. Floor areas should be level and non-slip. Good housekeeping practices and workplace design will reduce the number of injuries and accidents from slips, trips, and falls.
- Do not wear loose clothing, work gloves, neckties, rings, bracelets or other jewelry that can become entangled with moving parts.
- Do not remove sawdust or cuttings from the cutting head by hand while a machine is running. Use a stick or brush when the machine has stopped moving.
- Do not leave machines running unattended (unless they are designed and intended to be operated while unattended). Do not leave a machine until the power off is turned off and the machine comes to a complete stop.
- Don't brush scraps of metal into the trash with your hands. Always use a brush or even a piece of stiff cardboard to push them along
- Whenever possible, use a well-mounted vice to grip your piece while you're working on it. This may not always be practical, but consider it whenever you can. Use a rag or piece of scrap leather to cushion the metal and keep from marring it.
- Use the proper milling speed and feed and depth of cut.
- Think thrice, measure twice and cut once! A small mistake can cost you hours of work...
- Do not start cutting until the machine has reached full running speed.
- Do not overload or force a tool beyond its capabilities.
- Prepare for the worst. Remember after you are injure is too late to be trying to think of what to do. The adrenalin will be flowing and the chance of shock is always present.


WELDING SAFETY

No Alcohol

Keep children away

1 Fumes and Gases

Welding may produce fumes and gases hazardous to health. The amount and composition of these fumes and gases depend upon the composition of the filler metal and base material, welding process,current level, arc length, and other factors. Depending on material involved ranges from irritation of eyes, skin, and respiratory system to more severe complications. Effects may occur immediately or at some later time. Fumes can cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, and metal fume fever. In confined spaces the gases might displace breathing air and cause asphyxiation.

- Avoid breathing these fumes and gasses.
- When welding, keep your head out of the fume.
- Use enough ventilation and/or exhaust at the arc to keep fumes and gases away from the breathing zone.
- Do not breathe the fumes.
- Use enough ventilation or exhaust at the arc, or both, to keep fumes and gases from your breathing zone and general area.
- Only, in some cases, natural air movement provides enough ventilation and fresh air.
- Use mechanical ventilation to improve air quality.
Be sure there is adequate ventilation available when welding in confined areas or where there are barriers to air movement. Natural drafts, fans and positioning of the head can help keep fumes away from the welder's face.

2. Radiation

Most arc welding and cutting processes, produce quantities of radiation. The effects of radiation depend on the wavelength, intensity, and length of time one is exposed to the radiant energy. Although a variety of effects is possible, the following two injuries are most common: Skin burns and Eye damage

- Use a shield with the proper filter and cover plates to protect your eyes from sparks and the rays of the arc when welding or observing open arc welding.
- Use suitable clothing made from durable flame-resistant material to protect your skin and that of your helpers from the arc rays.
- Protect other nearby personnel with suitable non-flammable screening and/or warn them not to watch the arc nor expose themselves to the arc rays or to hot spatter or metal

3. Electric Shock

Electrical shock can kill. To prevent electrical shock:

- Use well insulated electrode holders and cables.
- Make sure welding cables are dry and free of grease and oil.
- Keep welding cables away from power supply cables.
- Wear dry hole-free gloves. Do not touch the electrode with a bare hand.
- Clothing should also be dry.
- Insulate the welder from the ground by using dry insulation, such as a rubber mat or dry wood.
- Ground frames of welding units.
- Always be sure the work cable makes a good electrical connection with the metal being welded. The connection should be as close as possible to the area being welded.
- Ground the work or metal to be welded to a good electrical (earth) ground.
- Maintain the electrode holder, work clamp, welding cable and welding machine ingood, safe operating condition.
- Never dip the electrode in water for cooling.
- Never simultaneously touch electrically "hot" parts of electrode holders connected to two welders because voltage between the two can be the total of the open circuit voltage of both welders.
- Read all instructions, labels, and installation manuals before installing, operating, or servicing the equipment.
- Have all installation, operation, maintenance, and repair work performed only by qualified people.
- Do not work alone where there are electrically hazardous conditions.
- Insulate yourself from the workpiece and ground using dry insulating mats or covers big enough to prevent any physical contact with the work or ground, or wear properly designed and approved rubber-soled boots in good condition.
- The power disconnect switch should be located close to the operater.
- Never change electrodes with bare hands or wet gloves.

4. Fire and Explosion Prevention

Welding, cutting, and allied processes produce molten metal, sparks, slag, and hot work surfaces. These can cause fire or explosion if precautionary measures are not followed.

- The floor should be concrete or another fire resistant material.
- Use only compressed gas cylinders containing the correct shielding gas for the process used and properly operating regulators designed for the gas and pressure used.
- Always keep cylinders in an upright position securely chained to an undercarriage or fixed support.
- Remove combustible materials for a minimum radius of 11meters  (430 Inches) around the work area or move the work to a location well away from combustible materials.
- If relocation is not possible, protect combustibles with covers made of fireresistant material.
- After welding or cutting, make a thorough examination of the area for evidence of fire. Remember that easily visible smoke or flame may not be present for some time after the fire hasstarted.
- Cylinders should be located away from areas where they may be struck or subjected to physical damage and a safe distance from arc welding or cutting operations and any other source of heat, sparks, or flame.
- Never allow the electrode, electrode holder or any other electrically "hot" parts to touch a cylinder.
- Valve protection caps should always be in place and hand tight except when the cylinder is in use or connected for use.
- Do not weld or cut in atmospheres containing reactive, toxic, or flammable gases, vapors, liquids, or dust.

5. Burn protection

Sparks and spatter fly off from the welding process. Hot metal and sparks blow out from the cutting process. The workpiece and equipment get hot. The flying sparks and hot metal, spatter, hot workpiece, and hot equipment can cause burns. Additionally, arc rays can cause radiation burns.

- Wear dry, hole-free insulating gloves.
- Touching hot equipment such as electrode holders, gun tips, and nozzles can cause burns—always wear insulated gloves or allow a cooling period when touching these and any associated parts of equipment that are near the actual welding or cutting operation.
- Wear oil-free protective garments such as leather gloves, heavy shirt, cuffless pants, high shoes, and a cap.
- Wear high top shoes or leather leggings and fire-resistant boots.
- Use approved helmets or hand shields that provide protection for the face, neck, and ears, and wear a head covering to protect the head.
- Wear approved safety goggles with side shields.
-When welding or cutting overhead or in confined spaces, wear flame-resistant ear plugs or ear muffs to keep sparks out of ears.

6. Electric and magnetic fields

Electric current flowing through any conductor causes localized Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF). Welding current creates EMF fields around welding cables and welding machines. EMF fields may interfere with some pacemakers, and welders having a pacemaker should consult their physician before welding. Exposure to EMF fields in welding may have other health effects which are now notknown.

- Do not place your body between the electrode and work cables. If the electrode cable is on your right side, the work cable should also be on your right side.
- Route the electrode and work cables together- Secure them with tape when possible.
- Never coil the electrode lead around your body.
- Connect the work cable to the workpiece as close as possible to the area being welded.
- Do not work next to welding power source.

FIRST AID

The welding area should always be equipped with a fire blanket and a well stocked first aid kit. It is desirable that one person be trained in first aid to treat the minor injuries that may occur. All injuries, no matter how minor they may seem can become more serious if not properly treated by trained medical personnel.


General Arc Welding Safety

- Prior to installing the arc welder you should determine if your present electrical system is adequate to handle the increased load re- quired by the welder. Your local power supplier or a qualified electrician can assist you in determining this. Failure to do so could cause fire, a ground fault, or equipment failure.
- Before starting any arc welding operation, a complete inspection of the welder should be made.
- Read all warning labels and instructions manuals.
- Remove all potential fire hazards from the welding area.
- Always have a fire extinguisher ready for immediate use.
- Equip welding machines with power disconnect switches which can be shut off quickly.
- The power to the machine should be disconnected before making repairs.
- Proper grounding of welding machines is essential.
- Electrode holders should not be used if they have loose cable connections, defective jaws, or poor insulation.
- An arc should not be struck if someone without proper eye protection is nearby.

Personal Protective Equipment:

- Protect your eyes and face with a welding helmet properly fitted and with the proper grade of filter plate.
- Woolen clothing
- Flame-proof apron
- Gloves
- Properly fitted clothing that is not frayed or worn.
- Shirts should have long sleeves.
- Trousers should be straight-legged and covering shoes when arc welding.
- Fire resistant cape or shoulder covers are needed for overhead work.
- Check protective clothing equipment before each use to make sure it is in good condition.
- Keep clothes free of grease and oil.

General Gas Welding Safety

Acetylene is the most commonly used fuel gas. Acetylene is very flammable and hazardous and can ignite at a wide range of concentrations. Oxygen won't burn or explode, but it helps other objects burn at greater rates. Gases are stored in cylinders which can rupture. A cylinder containing compressed gas can shoot through the air like a rocket if its valve is damaged or broken.

- Inspect equipment for leaks at all connections using approved leak-test solution.
- Inspect hoses for leaks and worn places.
- Replace bad hoses.
- Protect hoses and cylinders from sparks, flames and hot metal.
- Use a flint lighter to ignite the flame.
- Stand to the side (away from the regulators) when opening cylinder valves.
- Open cylinder valves very slowly to keep sudden high pressures from exploding the regulators.
- Only open the acetylene cylinder valve 1/4 - 3/4 turn; leave wrench in place so the cylinder can be quickly closed in an emergency.
- Open and light acetylene first, then open and adjust oxygen to a neutral flame.
- Close the acetylene torch valve first when shutting off the torch ( a "pop" might occur as the oxygen "blows out" the flame, but this eliminates the possibility of the flame burning up the acetylene line).
- When finished, close cylinder valves, bleed the lines to take pressure off regulators, neatly coil hoses and replace equipment.
- Have a fire extinguisher easily accessible at the welding site.

Storage and Handling

- Keep cylinders away from physical damage, heat, and tampering.
- Securely chain equipment to prevent falling.
- Store away from flammable and combustible materials.
- Store extra gas and oxygen cylinders separately.
- Store in an upright position.
- Close cylinder valves before moving.
- Protective caps or regulators should be kept in place.
- Roll cylinders on bottom edges to move--Do not drag.
- Allow very little movement when transporting.


Personal Protective Equipment:

- Protect your eyes and face with a welding helmet properly fitted and with the proper grade of filter plate.
- Woolen clothing
- Flame-proof apron
- Gloves
- Properly fitted clothing that is not frayed or worn.
- Shirts should have long sleeves.
- Trousers should be straight-legged and covering shoes when arc welding.
- Fire resistant cape or shoulder covers are needed for overhead work.
- Check protective clothing equipment before each use to make sure it is in good condition.
- Keep clothes free of grease and oil.

INFORMATION SOURCES

http://www.aws.org/technical/facts/
Manufacturers’ Product Information Literature
http://www.cdc.gov/nasd/docs/d000801-d000900/d000873/d000873.html
http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/welding/
http://www.oxarc.com/welding_safety_guide.ydev
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg297.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3157.pdf