5 Quick Tips for Staying Safe While Working Alone
Blacksmithing and Knife making aren't usually the most social actives. Many of us find ourselves working alone in our workshop, which can be dangerous. Do your best to follow these 5 tips to stay as safe as possible!
1) Make your workshop as safe as you can!
Do a risk assessment to identify trip and pinch hazards, sharp things, general tidiness. When you’re doing this it is a great time to clear work spaces, clean surfaces, and be sure that your machines are well serviced. You can pick one thing a day to fix or work on, it doesn't have to be a massive challenge.
2) Keep in Contact
Let people know when you’ll be working, when they can expect you to be back/hear from you. Make a plan with a close friend or loved one to check in on you if they haven't heard from you.
Have an ICE (In Case of Emergency) Number. Paramedics and First responders can find this number easily and contact someone for you if you're unable.
3) Don’t Overwork Yourself
Sometimes you are your biggest hazard. Get good sleep, eat well, take a work break when you’re feeling fatigued, and try not to take unnecessary risks.
4) Wear the Right Clothing
You shouldn't wear large/oversized clothes or wear excessive jewelry, and you should tie back long hair. Depending on what you’re doing, you may need fire-resistant clothing. Wear proper Personal Protective Gear, like eye protection, ear protection during prolonged exposure to loud noises, and a mask/particulate filter for dust/respiratory hazards.
5) Make a Plan and be Prepared
Accidents happen to normal people on normal days. Have plans in place in case something goes wrong and you have an accident alone in the shop. Having the proper medical equipment like an IFAK can give you the life saving time you need in an emergency.
Remember, even if you follow each of these tips an accident can still happen! Taking "Stop the Bleed" classes in your area and getting educated with other First Aid knowledge can only better prepare you.