Five Tips for Keeping Portable Heavy Duty Tools Safe In a Woodworking Classroom

Posted on: 10 October 2016

If you lead a woodworking class at a school, you have to ensure the portable electrical tools you use are safe. There are a number of safety precautions to consider. For the safety of your students, keep these tips in mind:

1. Always focus on safety.

Although students may be keen to dive into using tools on the first day of class, make sure to review all safety rules before letting students use the tools. Students should know how to check all tools for issues such as frayed cords, and they should understand the risks involved as well.

2. Remember cord management.

With multiple students using portable heavy duty electrical tools in a room, the cords can get tangled. Errant cords can cause students to trip and fall, and if cords are tangled or pulled for any reason, the attached tool may fly out of the hand of the student, causing an injury. Make sure students are oriented so that they can work relatively close to an outlet, and avoid letting cords overlap each other.

3. Have tools inspected and tagged.

Under Australian law, it is required to have electrical equipment in schools and many other facilities checked and tagged. Portable heavy duty equipment is one of the many types of electrical devices that must be tagged. Contact an electrician who does electrical tagging for schools.

These professionals can inspect the electrical tools to make sure they are safe. Then, they can tag them with the date of inspection and any other relevant details to ensure your school is legally compliant.

4. Create a system for tracking tags.

Ideally, after your portable tools have been tagged, you should create a system to track the tags. Depending on the number of tools you have in your classroom, you may simply want to create an alert on a calendar every time a tag expires so that you know to arrange another inspection. Alternatively, you may need to create a database with information about all the tags on your all of your electrical tools, that is integrated with details about the other tagged electric devices in your school.

5. Remember to protect ears and eyes.

Finally, in addition to ensuring the tools are in working condition and your students understand safety basics, you should also require students to wear safety gear. Noise cancelling headphones can protect students' ears, while safety goggles can protect their eyes. Keep safety gear in the classroom, rather than letting students take it home. That way, it's always there when you need it.