V for Visitors
This month we look at V for Visitors to our workshops.
Whether or not we care for our own safety in our workshop we have a duty to ensure that anyone coming to our workshop is not harmed either during their visit or subsequently.
We also need to see that we are not harmed by being distracted by visitors whilst we are working.
The many potential dangers in our workshops include revolving machinery and workpieces, powered equipment including circular saws, bandsaws and planers, sharp hand tools, harmful materials and dust, chemicals, paints, dyes, stains and adhesives.
Firstly we need to ensure that any visitors to our workshop are not put in danger when we are working. Unlike when at demonstrations there are generally no screens to protect from flying debris and in the confines of a cosy workshop there is limited room for onlookers to get out of the way of missiles. Maybe we need to consider whether we should carry on working or using machinery when any visitors are present in our workshop.
If visitors are young and inquisitive then they should not be left unattended in the workshop. It is particularly with this age group in mind that we should avoid using used drink and food containers to store chemicals, dyes or adhesives.
Surprise visitors can create distractions at the most inappropriate time. One club member came to a meeting with heavily bandaged fingers. He explained that he had been engrossed in bandsawing some blanks when unknown to him his wife came into the workshop with a cup of tea for him. When she spoke to him he was distracted from his sawing and sustained serious cuts to two fingers. We need to make possible visitors aware that they should not enter the workshop whilst the woodworker is using machinery but should wait until a suitable pause in operations.
Should we continue working or using machinery when any visitors are present in our workshop?
Avoid using used food or drink containers to store chemicals used in the workshop. Make visitors aware that they should not enter the workshop whilst the occupant is using machinery.