By Justin Aikens, Resource Coordinator
Nail it! The way you frame a structure during a carpenter job is the same way you need to plan for your carpentry safety – throughout your career. Working with wood is exciting, but it can also become dangerous if carpentry safety is neglected. Keep in mind that the majority of accidents in construction occur when professionals fail to stick to safety rules and prefer to cut corners and improvise. Getting hurt means being unable to work for some time and thus not being able to earn a living. To make sure you do not get to this point, we provide some hints to help you reduce carpentry risks and do what you love safely.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Not wearing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) during a carpentry job is one of the most common mistakes that professionals make. What they forget though is that it only takes a moment for something to go wrong. For example, being without protective glasses while cutting wood or removing nails, and not wearing a respirator or mask when applying adhesives and finishes is not the way to reduce carpentry risks. In addition, be sure to wear the necessary clothing that protects you from being exposed to severe weather conditions.
Being a professional carpenter means taking your job seriously and doing whatever it takes to deliver. This leaves no room for irresponsible behavior that puts your safety in jeopardy. For example, stay away from substance use such as alcohol or drugs that impair your judgement and decrease your reaction time. Remember, under no circumstances you should put yourself and others at risk. Similarly, if you notice abnormal behavior among your co-workers, be sure to speak up before it is too late for everyone.
Check Your Tools
Your profession calls for miscellaneous tasks. You are going to measure, cut, trim, install structures and fixtures, construct frameworks and shape materials. Each carpenter job you work on requires you to utilize different tools such as saws, drills, hammers, sanders, utility knifes and more. To ensure carpentry safety, you have to keep your tools in good working condition and make sure that you use them appropriately. Do your saws have protective guards? Are you using the right tools for each task? Do you clean your tools when you complete a project? In order to reduce carpentry risks, check your equipment on a regular basis and always use it the way it was designed to be used.
Ask for Help
Bending, stretching and standing for a long period of time are some of the awkward positions you are going to find yourself in during a carpentry job. In addition, lifting heavy materials and using equipment that requires strength creates more dangers for potential accidents and injuries. With that being said, it is important to take action and minimize the chances of getting hurt. For example, stretch a few minutes before and during your work day and don’t hesitate to call for help during a task. Improving your ergonomics is going to ease the way you do your job as well as reduce carpentry risks.
Always finish what you do before turning your attention elsewhere. When you find yourself on a commercial jobsite, you get to work among other tradespeople and around heavy machinery. There is too much action taking place and this increases the chances of distractions getting in your way. This is when things can go wrong. To reduce carpentry risks you need to stay focused on what you are doing. Get it out of the way before starting a new task. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break or ask for advice from other carpenters or your superintendent.
Key Takeaways to Carpentry Safety Precautions:
- Use the necessary PPE depending on the carpentry job you perform
- Be a responsible professional and refrain from foul play
- Make sure your tools are in good working conditions and that you use them properly
- Reduce carpentry risks by asking for help from colleagues
- Stay focused on what you do and finish it before turning your attention elsewhere
Founded in 1993, TradeSource is a construction labor solutions firm focused on delivering labor solutions to contractors throughout the United States. By supplying skilled tradespeople – where and when they’re needed – we help contractors grow their companies, without the associated costs and hassles of full-time hires. Likewise, we match qualified employees with rewarding and well-paying job opportunities in the construction industry. www.tradesource.com