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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.

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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.

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