Skip to main content

Order of safety

We all know – or should know – every safety practice for the woodshop. And there are a lot of them.

Woodworking is potentially one of the most dangerous activities there is. When it comes to cutting, bruising, scraping, crushing, scratching, gouging or breaking one body part or another, your typical shop presents a veritable smorgasbord of ways to do it. And there are rules and practices that can either prevent or minimize every one of them.

But which rule is most important? Is it even possible to rank them? I’d posit that Norm Abram had it right when he said that the most important safety rule is to wear these safety glasses.

AJBLOG-1004 image

But what safety practice comes next in importance, and the one after that, and so on? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that with the exception of protecting your eyes, you really can’t rank all the rest in order of importance. As such, then, there really are only two safety rules. Protecting your eyes, as stated above, is Rule Number One. Every other safety practice is tied at Rule Number Two.

And if you really need a third rule, then it should be, “Please see Rules One and Two.” That makes remembering them all a lot easier.

Related Articles

Order of danger

What’s the most dangerous thing in the woodshop? The list is a long one.

AJBLOG-2024 image

Safety warnings

We all know about the myriad safety warnings associated with woodworking tools. But what about warnings for other things that impact using woodworking tools?

Safety’s sake

Safety is paramount when woodworking. But some of the safety warnings in tool manuals leave me scratching my head.

Order in the court

It was hard for this woodworker to remain focused during jury duty when surrounded by some of the most marvelous woodworking I’d ever seen.

AJBLOG-1062 image

Stop, look and think

Nothing kicks your brain into safety mode in the woodshop like a blood stain.

AJBLOG-1035 image

Dream projects

I think every woodworker has a file full of notes and sketches on dream projects they want to do “someday.” I know I do.

Use ’em, or replace ’em

Sometimes, old neglected tools don’t work so well when you dig them out. Sometimes they work fine… but you should still get rid of them.