How Woodworkers Can Use Protective Clothing To Prevent Injury
Sawdust might appear to be safe, but it can actually be extremely harmful
. In fact, its effects can show up ten or more years later in the form of deadly illnesses such as cancer. Regulatory authorities have gone a long way to ensure workers are protected from the dangers and complications of sawdust. However, employers and workers can do several other things to further reduce exposure to these harmful particulates, therefore lowering the side effects and risks associated with it.
Protective Clothing Such As Disposable Coveralls
It might not be mandatory for woodworkers to wear disposable coveralls or other safety clothing, but these seemingly simply outfits can significantly reduce the amount of exposure to the skin. As an added benefit, disposable coveralls can also keep clothing clean and prevent workers from tracking this clingy particulate from one location to another.
Woodworkers like protective clothing, especially one-piece suits because they are quick and easy to take off. They're affordable and easy to replace when they become damaged or torn, so there's no need to worry about washing and drying them. Some workers even wear protective clothing such as pants and shirts instead of one-piece suits. This way, they only have to replace half of their safety garments at a time.
Proper Footwear And Protection
Even though some wood pieces seem light and unlikely to be dangerous, they can cause serious damage. If a worker dropped a piece of wood on his foot, it could potentially break one or more toes, particularly if it lands with an edge or corner first. Therefore, footwear that completely covers the top of the foot is necessary. Workers might also consider wearing steel-toed shoes, which will protect against sharp edges as well as prevent injuries originating from items such as forklifts and pallets.
Woodworkers should also make sure their legs are protected from sharp edges, machinery, and other dangers. To do this, they simply need to wear heavy cotton or denim pants rather than shorts or skirts, which will leave them with bare skin that is easily injured. Lastly, make sure clothing isn't too big and doesn't have dangling laces or bulky fabric hanging loosely that can get caught in the machinery.
Minimizing The Effects Of Constant Vibration
Workers who are constantly exposed to the vibration of orbital sanders, saws, routers, and other equipment have a higher risk of contracting joint, nerve, and muscle conditions. And, unfortunately, the effects can last anywhere from a few days to a lifetime.
To minimize the effects of vibration on the body, woodworkers can use shock and vibration absorbing gloves, which have gel packs sewn into the palms and sometimes in the fingertips of the leather or neoprene material. It is also important to rotate jobs or have frequent breaks.
Protecting the health and wellbeing of woodworkers goes far beyond the basic rules and regulations set out by the regulatory authorities. Protective clothing such as disposable coveralls, vibration absorbent gloves, covered shoes, and even simple cotton pants can go a long way to keeping a worker safe and unharmed.
by: Chris Harmen
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