Top Safety Rules

safety first cargo van

A safe work environment is not always enough to control all potential hazards. You must be very cautious, work safely and educate yourself in First Aid for your own protection.

Before beginning any do-it-yourself projects or repairs it is a good idea to review some safety rules. By following basic safety methods and precautions you can avoid injury and complete your projects successfully.

These warnings and instructions are not meant to be a complete set of safety rules. If you’re not a qualified professional for the job at hand, be sure to follow all the rules, be prepared and ask for advice, but most importantly use some common sense and in doubt, hire the right person for the job.


  • Avoid contact with energized electrical circuits.
  • Treat all electrical devices as if they are live or energized. You never know.
  • Disconnect the power source before servicing or repairing electrical equipment.
  • Use only tools and equipment with non-conducting handles when working on electrical devices.
  • Never use metallic pencils or rulers, or wear rings or metal watchbands when working with electricity.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing an appliance.
  • Never assume that a wire is safe to touch.
  • Always use caution when working near electricity.
  • Electricity kills. If not a 100% of your abilities, hire a qualified electrician!


  • Protect your eyes – Wear safety glasses, especially when using a drill, a sawzall or while hammering.
  • Protect your hands – Wear appropriate work gloves. Protect against unsafe materials and chemicals.
  • Protect your lungs – Use a disposable face mask to protect your lungs to prevent inhalation of dust particles and/or chemical fumes.
  • Read labels – Always read labels and instructions when using chemicals or machines and know what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Don’t:
    • Work when you feel overly tired or ill.
    • Misuse of tools can result in injury, damage to the project and/or damage of the tool. Take time to maintain your tools after each use.
    • Ignore plumbing safety codes.
    • Ignore the smell of gas.

Solar 12V

  • Wear dark glasses while installing the solar panel.
  • Do not look directly at the sun.
  • Minimize wire voltage loss by installing correct gauge copper wire.
  • Disconnect the power coming from the solar panels.
  • Batteries
    • Working with a lead acid battery, sealed or vented is dangerous.
    • Disconnect all wiring before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.
    • Never attempt to charge a frozen battery.
    • Disconnect the power coming from the solar panels.
    • Provide ventilation to clear the area of explosive gases.
    • Have plenty of fresh water and soap nearby in case battery acid contacts skin, clothing or eyes.
    • Wear complete eye and clothing protection.
    • If acid enters the eyes, immediately flood with cool running water for at least 15 minutes and get medical attention immediately.
    • Baking soda neutralizes battery acid electrolyte. Keep a supply near the batteries.


  • Always wear safety equipment such as goggles, face shields, dust masks, and hearing protection appropriate for the type of tool or equipment being used.
  • Wear appropriate clothing.
  • Disconnect power before blade changes
  • Use sharp blades & bits – a dull cutting tool is a dangerous tool. Besides, a sharper cutting tool will produce a cleaner cut.
  • Always check for nails, screws and other metal.
  • Never reach over a blade to remove cut-offs – use a piece of scrap or a push stick to move the waste away from the blade.
  • Avoid distractions:
    • Only use woodworking machines and tools you have knowledge of or have been trained to use.
    • Always read and understand the owner’s manual prior to using a tool or piece of equipment.
    • Do not listen to a radio.
    • Keep the working area and floor clean and free of wood scraps, clutter, oil spills, etc. Always use a brush to clean off sawdust or wood scraps from the machine or work area being used.
    • Make sure the safety guards are in position and operating properly for all equipment used.
    • Do not stand in water or use any electrical equipment in the rain or any inclement weather.
    • Be sure all equipment is properly grounded before use.
    • Always use the correct tools and equipment for the job.
    • Before plugging in a machine, make sure the switch is in the off position and make sure the on/off switch is within reach.
    • Keep the power cords away from equipment while operating and if possible, install power cords or wiring overhead or under the floor.
    • Concentrate on the work at hand at all times. Do not day dream and keep your hands and fingers at a safe distance from blades and any rotating parts while working.
    • Always clamp stock securely when cutting, sanding or drilling.
    • Never make an adjustment with the power on.
    • Lighting is important.
  • Never walk away from a machine while it is still running. Turn off the power and wait until it has come to a full stop.
  • If a machine does not sound right, there are unusual smells emitted, or smoke is visible, turn the machine off immediately and check for the problem before reusing.
  • Avoid unsafe operations where a sudden slip could cause your hand to move into a blade or cutting tool.
  • Make sure the floor space is clean and clear of debris or spills that could cause an accident.
  • If possible, do not stand directly behind any stock being cut, planed, or jointed. In the event of a kick-back, serious injury could result.
  • Keep all machines, equipment, and tools clean, oiled, sharpened, and in good repair.
  • Keep used oily and stained rags in a covered metal container. This will help prevent spontaneous combustion.
  • Keep an ABC class fire extinguisher in a convenient location. The ABC class will extinguish all classes of fires.
  • Discard or sharpen dull blades, cutters, chisels, drill bits, lathe tools, etc.
  • If possible, us an exhaust ventilation system to remove sawdust and chips from the machines.
  • Never us drugs, alcohol, or medication that would impair vision or judgment in a woodshop environment.