Worksafe : Safework

Courses at work are a fact of life, especially occupational health and safety ones. If you have been reading this site for some time (or visited recently but had a look around the content behind the Safety tag), you will gain a realisation that safety to me is not something to get on a high horse about, nor is it something to ignore and avoid. It is something that should just be done to mean you finish an activity safely.

My simple summary for safety at work is “employees should be able to go home in equal or better condition than when they arrived”. This entails both physical safety as well as mental (stress etc).

This should be applied equally to shed activities. This simple rule shouldn’t rob the enjoyment out of an activity. But who wants to end a day in the shed by rushing to Emergency? Or risking the hidden dangers of carcinogenic sawdust? (In Australia, all sawdust is regarded as carcinogenic).

So back to the course for a sec, and while listening to the presentation, I followed some info presented to the Workspace site to look at some guides. What caught my eye was the image on the cover of the one shown was a bandsaw. So I investigated further, and curiously although bandsaws are specifically mentioned in its own guide, there is none specifically for tablesaws or jointers. Why is it the comparatively safest of the power machines end up with such a bad rap, and its own guideline, while the real bad boys (tablesaws, planers, nail files) get ignored?

In any case, here are some of the guides that are available through the Worksafe website of relevance to woodworkers:

Guarding of Machines


Using the right tool for the job

Wood dust- Health hazards and Control

Lathe Incident


Working Alone

The lathe incident makes interesting reading, but some potentially impractical suggestions for alternatives. Wonder which expert wood turner was consulted for THOSE gems?

3 Responses

  1. Stuart,
    An excellent definition of safety including mental issues.

    Is the reason that Bandsaws have a reputation as bad puppies because of all the accidents in Meat works, Butcher shops etc. Where staff are handling wet and slippery product time after time so you become immune to it potental dangers?


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