A Machine Shop Woodworking Safety Checklist for School

Written by bonnie swain schindly
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A Machine Shop Woodworking Safety Checklist for School
Distractions and haste are leading causes of student injuries in woodworking classes. (lame de scie image by Christophe Fouquin from Fotolia.com)

School woodshop programs require stringent safety codes. Most classroom injuries result from rushing through assignments or neglecting to stop machinery at the right time. A machine shop woodworking safety checklist for schools safeguards students against accidents involving handheld and power tools. These guidelines also instil discipline in kids so they remember to keep their work areas clean and hazard-free and to pay attention to their teachers' instructions.

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Safety glasses and face shields prevent particles and solvents from striking a student's face, especially his eyes. Gloves pose risks because the fabric limits dexterity and catches in machinery. Jewellery and loose hair create hazards because moving machines snare necklaces and long tresses and might jerk a student straight into a live saw or drill. Instructors recommend pulling hair back from the face and removing jewellery, as well as rolling shirt sleeves up to the elbow.


Woodshop students learn to operate lathes, grinders, drill presses and band saws. Youngsters always have the option to stick with hand-operated equipment until they are comfortable with power tools, according to the Woodworking Manufacturing Technologies Department (WMT) of Cerritos College in Norwalk, California. Students should start and stop their own machines and remain with a piece of equipment until it stops running. They must wait until equipment stops running before adjusting the settings and use only the materials furnished by their instructor.


The woodshop teacher approves all work before students get started with their machines, and she oversees special setups of tools. She thoroughly explains safety guidelines and ensures that her students follow those rules. The teacher immediately deals with any potential violations, such as horseplay between kids or a youngster incorrectly operating a saw. She never allows students to operate a portable circular saw or 52-inch wide belt sander without her guidance, WMT of Cerritos College reports.


Good manners complement any woodworking safety checklist. Many accidents result from a student startling another classmate while a machine is running, according to Cerritos College's WMT. Students should refrain from talking when operating tools. They also should clean their own messes, as well as any grease or solvents that drip onto the floor. Students also have to obtain permission and complete sign-in sheets if they want to use shop equipment prior to the start of a woodworking class.


Younger children require special attention during age-appropriate woodworking classes. Keep the power tools unplugged and the blades covered until the class begins. Hand tools are safer for younger kids than power saws and drills, but children tire easily from the extra efforts. An observant instructor is ready to step in at the first signs of fatigue to prevent accidents. Children also require coaching on how to carry instruments, because they might incorrectly hold chisels and screwdrivers face up while walking.

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