In this article I’m going to take on the macho image of home woodworking so that you can increase your chances of living a long happy and healthy retirement.
Increasingly strict health and Safety legislation has been protecting employees from damage to their health resulting from their work activities. This is a good thing; too many people were suffering and dying from industrial deafness, traumatic injury and industrial diseases.
Protecting employees from themselves is often not an easy task despite the legislation. There seems to be an abiding myth that SE management gets in the way of getting the job done.
Someone once said to me that the difference between safety, health and environmental in SHE management was only the timescale over which the damage was done.
It’s easiest (but still not easy) when the potential harm or damage is obvious. Work in factories and machine shop is particularly hazardous due to the nature of the work involved. Some of the dangers are obvious electricity, powerful moving machines, and heavy objects.
But it gets even harder to get people to take it seriously as the timescales between exposure, or event and injury or disease lengthen.
Most companies employee Health and Safety managers and consultants, to protect both their employees from injury, and themselves from prosecution.
But, who is protecting the home worker?
Wood and metal working power tools for example a chop saw, router table, disc sander or hole saw are readily available for home use, and they can cause serious injury and disease.
You guessed it, if you’re a home or hobby worker the buck stops with you! A lot of people tell me they are relieved that the HSE law doesn’t apply to them. Te problem is nobody told you’re body.
Whether, the laws apply or not your health is equally at risk. So please, please, please, take your health and safety seriously.
In a later article I will cover some of the specifics, but for now, OSHA is the main government agency responsible for the enforcement of H&S legislation in the United States. Their website is a great resource for those looking to protect their health.
Remember even if as a home worker you are not covered by all the Health and Safety legislation which larger companies have to abide by. The simple truth is that many of the requirements of regulations such as manual handling guidelines, and local exhaust ventilation are designed to protect workers health. This means that if you implement them in your home workshop you’ll be doing a lot to protect your health.
Back problems incapacitate thousands of Americans every year, and dust induced lung disease is a real killer. With the proper information, training and equipment you can minimize or even avoid these risks.
My personal advice if you’re a keen home worker using power and machine tools I’d recommend investing in a consultation with a professional health and safety advisor. It may cost a 100 bucks – but it could save your life, sounds like a bargain to me…
What do you say; don’t your grand kids deserve a healthy grandfather?
Source by Tom Fern