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WMW Safety Policy

The safety guidelines below must be followed while on-site at Wesley Michael Woodworking. If you have a question about the WMW Safety Policy, please ask your workshop facilitator or send us an inquiry.


Attire and Personal Protective Equipment

  • Eye protection will be provided by WMW and must be worn while using any power tool in the shop.

  • Participants will be provided with an N95 mask and will be required to wear the mask when power tools are running.

  • Hearing protection will be offered to all participants and WMW strongly recommends the use of hearing protection when power tools are being operated in the woodshop.

  • Shoulder length hair or longer must be tied back.

  • Proper clothing should be worn while in the WMW Workshop. Loose or baggy clothing can become caught in a machine which can pull the operator into the machine. Loose clothing, scarfs, and ties will not be allowed. Sleeves must be pulled up, and jackets should not be worn.

  • Proper footwear should be worn; no open-toed shoes or flip-flops. Many tools are heavy and sharp which poses a greater hazard when dropped on an unprotected foot.

  • Participants will be asked to remove dangling jewelry, and WMW is not responsible for lost or stolen items, so please leave such pieces at home.

  • In a woodworking shop, gloves should not be worn. ( This is different from working in a metal shop where one is dealing with sharp and possibly hot metal. ) Around woodworking machinery a glove can get caught and pull one into the machine.

Safe Operation of Tools

  • Push sticks and paddles will be provided to participants and must be used to guide materials when operating the tools.

  • All safety devices and guards must be used on the machinery when appropriate, including push sticks, clamps and blade guards.

  • Participants agree to follow proper operation procedures of all power tools. If a participant has a question about safe operation of a tool, they will ask the facilitator for clarification or guidance before attempting to operate the tool.

  • Danger zones will be clearly marked on each tool, and participants will be made aware of these markings at the beginning of the session. Participants are prohibited from allowing their extremities to enter these zones. Note: The table saw at WMW is a Saw Stop brand, which is the current industry leader in safety innovation.

  • The dust collector must be turned on when the machines are in use. After using the machines, the dust collector should be allowed to run for a minute or two before turning it off so that the dust exits the system and doesn’t settle out in the tubing.

  • Participants will not start a machine with their wood in contact with it’s moving parts. Participants will turn on the machine, let it come up to speed, and then put their wood into the machine.

  • Participants will not leave a machine running and walk away from it. When leaving the operator safety zone, the machine must be turned off and stopped completely.

  • Participants will not use a piece of wood to stop the machine. If the machine is equipped with a brake, it should be used moderately to stop the machine. If there is no brake, let the machine coast to a stop before leaving the machine.

  • If a blade breaks or something else goes wrong with the machine, participants should step away from the machine and shut it off. If it is dangerous to shut off the machine, push the emergency power shut-off to kill power to the machine. Stay away from the affectemachine until all parts stop moving.

  • Participants should not force their wood into a machine. The harder one pushes; the more dangerous it is. If a piece of wood doesn’t want to go through a machine, don’t push harder. Participants should stop, find out why not and correct the situation. If the blade on a saw becomes dull, it needs to be changed.

  • If something doesn’t seem right; such as a machine making strange noises, vibrating excessively, smelling like it’s burning or is sparking; participants should stop the machine and notify the facilitator.

  • Participants will not attempt to cut metal in the WMW workshop. The blades on the saws are not made for cutting metal.

  • If a participant is in doubt whether a material can be used in the WMW workshop, they should ask the facilitator. 

  • Small pieces of wood are potentially dangerous. On some machines, there is a minimum size which can be put into the machine safely. If one gets below a certain size, there is a potential for injury. Minimum sizes will be clearly marked on the applicable tools in the WMW workshop. Participants should ask the facilitator if they are unsure of a machine minimum. 

  • Slowing down while working will not only be safer, but will help you speed up your project. Remember, haste makes waste.

  • The greatest safeguard for participants is in their own heads. Participants should remain aware of potential dangers and think about what they are doing and how to go about it.

  • When operating saws, participants should only push as hard as the saw comfortably wants to cut the material. At the end of the cut participants should slow down, release pressure, and come out of the cut slowly so that one doesn’t lurch forward into the blade.

  • Participants should not assume they can stop before hitting their hand when they come out of the end of a cut. Hands should not be in line with the blade.

  • Only one piece of wood should be cut or machined at a time. To work on multiple pieces together, they must be clamped or securely fastened together. A human hand is not a clamp or an adhesive.

  • If a participant sees a fellow participant about to do something dangerous, or if part of their clothing or hair is about to get caught in a machine, please warn them and if necessary inform the facilitator.

  • If a participant does not understand something or needs assistance, they should ask the facilitator.

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