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Safety; A Long Time Coming...

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009


I remember when I was growing up I had that feeling in being invincible, almost immortal. Heck, I was in my teens and nothing could stop me. I was flying around up to 5 or 6 stories of pipe staging, crawling around roofs and jumping off the last 4 or 5 rungs of the ladder to save a few seconds. I also remember thinking that safety equipment, or personal protective equipment, was for babies.  It was manly NOT to wear PPE.

  • I'd use a circular saw to cut dimensional and sheet goods or a reciprocating saw (better known as a Sawzall ) for all sorts of piping and never wear any form of suitable eye protection...

  • Moving lumber always meant digging out a few splinters with my utility knife throughout the day because I never wore any leather gloves. Splinters were part of the territory of working with wood... 

  • And how can I ever forget the 24 hours it took for my ears to recover following a day of cutting wood with a chain saw and no hearing protection...

  • And lastly, constant sneezing or having blow my nose frequently at the end of the day because I never wore a mask or respirator when sanding wood or drywall or spraying paints without adequate ventilation... 

I titled this entry "Safety; A Long Time Coming..." because it took a long time for me to not necessarily realize the importance of wearing PPE but to actually start using protective apparatus (think paradigm shift here). Perhaps it was a function of too many close calls coupled with hearing and/or  reading stories of power-tool related accidents. Maybe rolling past 40 years of age was part of the equation and I wanted to preserve those senses that seem to inevitably fade with age. Regardless of the reasoning, I wear PPE whenever working with power tools.  My shop is fully outfitted with OSHA-approved devices to protect my eyes, ears, nose and limbs from harms way. Further, I have a variety of push sticks, clamps and task-specific jigs and fixtures to safely perform woodworking.  Lastly, fire extinguishers for Type A, B C & D fires are located around my shop.


Don't fool yourself into believing the saying that "accidents don't happen to me .. they happen to other people". Safety procedures and PPE are paramount when working with any tools. Use your tools properly and protect yourself from injury.


If you have any questions or comments about this blog entry please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail. Thanks and be safe when working with tools!!!




burgie picture

Robert Burgoyne, also known as "Burgie", has been doing woodworking for nearly 30 years. He started learning at an early age in his grandfather's garage and continued while working with his father in construction. The hobby has now become a business with Creative Landscape Accents. Burgie builds  high quality woodworking projects for the outdoors and also enjoys making decorative accent pieces for inside the house. While not working in his shop doing woodworking Burgie enjoys computers, restoring his old 1964 Chevy C60 2-ton dump truck and riding his Harley-Davidson Road King throughout beautiful Colorado.



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