Some preppers are lucky enough to have an actual workshop separate from their house. Others have converted their garage or a spare room into a workshop. Apartment dwellers may only have a closet where they keep their tools, pulling them out and using them as and where needed. Regardless of where your work area is, here are some important safety tips and considerations:
1) Your workshop or work area should be well-light and well-ventilated.
2) Make sure your workshop or work area is not cluttered, and that you have enough room to work on your projects without tripping over or bumping into stuff.
3) Your workshop should be correctly wired (and up to code) for the power tools and equipment you are using.
4) Check all extension cords for fraying and other damage on a regular basis. Always use the correct extension cord for the power tool or equipment being used.
5) Have a well-stocked first aid kit in your workshop (or with you, if you are working away from your workshop). Make sure your first aid kit includes a tourniquet, burn kit, and eyewash bottle.
6) Have a fire/smoke/CO2 detector in your workshop. Check/change batteries on a regular basis.
7) Have an all-purpose (ABC) fire extinguisher in your workshop.
8) Store your tools and equipment properly. Make sure items on shelves are secured so they won't accidentally fall off.
9) Read and keep the manufacturers instructions for correct and safe use of your tools and equipment, as well as the MSDS safety sheets for all chemicals and materials that you store or use.
10) Store all paints, oils, glues, cleaning fluids, and other chemicals in appropriate containers, and away from sources of flames and/or heat.
11) Keep sharp or dangerous objects out of reach of children and pets.
12) Store oily rags in an appropriate, safe container, and away from sources of flame, heat, or electricity.
13) Make sure all workbenches are sturdy and stable. Do not use an unbalanced workbench. Do not overload a workbench with too much weight.
14) When repairing or installing anything electric, make sure the power is off at the circuit breaker.
15) Wear/use the appropriate safety gear for the task at hand. This gear may include:
- safety glasses with side protection
- safety goggles (fully enclosed, more complete protection against chemical splash)
- work boots (possibly with steel toes)
- work gloves (heavy-duty, great for working with wood and lumber)
- mechanics gloves (not as heavy-duty, but allows for more finger dexterity)
- workshop apron
- leather safety apron
- chain saw chaps
- hearing protection
16) Don't use power tools or equipment for the first time without proper instruction. Don't use tools and equipment that you don't know how to use.
17) Never use tools and equipment while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
18) Use the appropriate tool for the task. Don't try to make do. Don't use tools that are damaged. Only use tools and equipment how they were intended to be used.
19) Wear suitable shoes and clothing for the task (for example, no flip-flops or clogs). Remove dangling items (such as a scarf, necklace, etc.) before using power tools.
20) Lift heavy objects with your legs, not your back. Get help lifting objects too heavy for you to comfortably lift on your own.
21) Don't smoke or use candles around gas, oil, and other flammable materials.
22) Stay focused and pay attention to the task at hand. Don't get distracted.
23) Please, no practical jokes, running, or horseplay in the workshop or work area. This should go without saying, but many accidents do happen while workers are fooling around, goofing off, or otherwise behaving inappropriately for the situation.
NOTE: If possible, have a partner with you in case of accident while working. Always have a cell phone or other means of calling for help if needed.
Please take workshop and DIY safety seriously. Accidents can and do lead to property destruction, temporary or permanent injury, and even death.
This list is not exhaustive by any means, and is not meant to replace your own common sense. Your particular situation, equipment, and activities may require different or additional safety precautions.
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