Safety Tips for Carvers

Use the right tools.

  • Always read the operating instructions for any mechanical tool, and understand them. If you
  • have trouble understanding the English, ask for help from the Workers' Compensation Board safety officer.
  • Use the right tool for the job.
  • When using electric tools, use double-insulated tools only. Always use a ground fault interrupter.
  • Use only the attachments recommended for the tool.

Use them safely.

  • Make sure your extension cords are meant for outdoor use and are properly grounded.
  • Make sure the bur on your die grinder has as short a shaft length as possible.
  • Remember to disconnect tools before changing the bit, bur or disc.
  • Use a vice or sandbags to hold your carving in place - not your legs or feet. Or secure it from the bottom with masonry screws fastened to a solid base.
  • Disconnect and store all tools in a dry, dust-free place.
  • Roll up all extension cords.
  • Don't leave power tools outside - condensation can form inside and freeze. Maintaining your power tools helps them last longer.

Use protective equipment.

  • Whenever cutting or grinding rock, wear protective eye goggles.
  • Wear protective ear muffs.
  • Wear gloves. If working with air hammers and vibrating equipment, wear special vibration isolating gloves.
  • Wear a rubber apron and safety-toed footwear.
  • Always wear a good respirator - a high quality face mask respirator with replaceable air cartridges and clean filters. Don't settle for a cheap dust mask.
  • Make sure your respirator fits well. You must be clean shaven . No beards allowed, not even stubble! The respirator must fit snugly to your face to prevent leaks. Test your respirator as well.
  • Check your respirator for dust build-up and clean, if necessary.
  • Stock up on replacement filters for your respirator.
  • Change out of your dusty work clothes before going indoors.

Make sure your tools are in good working order.

  • Make sure power tool cords are not cut or frayed.
  • Make sure grinding and cutting discs are in good shape, not worn.
  • Make sure safety guards are in place. If your grinder kicks back, or you lose control of it, the guard could prevent a serious injury. Guards keep dust and chips moving away from your body. Guards also keep dust away from the ventilation ports of your tools. Rock dust is very abrasive and can damage the inside of your tools, too.

Keep a safe work environment.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive movement affliction that bothers typists, can happen to carvers too because they hold their wrist in the same unnatural position. While carving, try to reposition your body or your work to maintain the neutral position of your wrists when you drop your hands to your side.
  • Work away from water and wet areas.
  • Make sure nobody is wandering around your worksite while you're using grinders.
  • Make sure children don't play around your dusty worksite.