Woodworker Safety Week: Best practice is a Safety Habit

woodworker safety weekThanks to TheWoodWhisperer.com for encouraging us all to re-consider woodworking safety.

The elders in a shop, and especially the employers in a shop need to make sure their employees are actively practicing shop safety.  The problem though with “enforced safety” is that it is an afterthought.  Safety has to become a habit and in order to be a habit, it has to be something you do all the time without thinking, not just during woodworker Safety week, and not just when the boss is in the shop.  So no matter how cavalier some new woodworker might be, we have to make sure they are practicing safety in such a way that it becomes a habit and not an afterthought.

I had this young hotshot in my shop this week. He thought he knew everything and was adamant that Christopher Scwarz’s “French Ripping” method was the latest craze and that it was safe because you are ripping away from yourself.  It wasn’t his method or knowledge from reading Schwarz’s Blog that impressed me.  It was that BEFORE he grabbed that huge rip saw and straddled that cedar log and started ripping, he paused to put his safety goggles on, by habit.  Working without them on just didn’t feel right.

french ripping

It is possible he has spent too much time reading Chris Schwarz's Blog.