Safety on the Jobsite

attention!To produce a quality outcome on any project, the same level of care that is applied to one’s craft must also be applied to keeping the work area neat and safe.

Safety on the Job requires:

  • Proper respect, care & use of tools & equipment
  • Guards, goggles, gloves & gumdrops
  • Fall protection
  • STOP & right of refusal


Planbe prepared to stop

And it also means that anyone on the job has the right and obligation, if something doesn’t look safe, to say STOP!


Use: Guards, Goggles, Gloves & Gumdrops

Use guards on power tools, with the possible exception of table saws, and make sure they are operating properly.

gogglesProtect your eyes with safety glasses or goggles when using power tools or any hand tools that might produce shards or projectiles or when using sprays or creating dust.wearing gloves

Protect your hands from cuts, blisters, abrasions, and splinters with appropriate gloves (gloves are NOT recommended when using power tools, however).Hearing%20Protection140

Protect your hearing with proper sound-deadening equipment.

knee padWear knee pads whenever kneeling on hard surfaces.

Respiration: Inspire – don’t Expire: use proper dust masks or charcoal filter respirator doublerespirators.

Hard Hat kidCradle your Cranium: wear a hardhat if working below others.



entropy at workEntropy or Murphy’s Law

All organized systems move slowly toward chaos
Unless we help them get there faster

MurphyMurphy says:
1. Nothing is as easy as it looks.
2. Everything takes longer than you think.
3. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Feng & Shui say:
Only as long as you allow it to !

Caution Tape

Safety Tips:

Avoid clutter – pick up after yourself, often.
Wear sturdy boots – watch where you step.
Remove all nails in wood.
Don’t leave tools lying around.
Don’t leave tools on top of stepladders.
Lift with your legs, not your back – don’t boots
Make sure circular saw blade guard functions properly.
Keep your edge tools sharp – cut away from your body.
Be careful of fire and flammables – don’t smoke on the jobsite.
Be very careful with air nailers – keep on single fire.
Two-person carries for long lumber or ladders.
All above-grade openings (stairwells) need temporary railings.
Open excavations require at least caution tape.
Be very careful working around heavy equipment.
Avoid use of toxic building materials – dispose of properly when used.
Don’t burn anything but clean lumber.
Don’t bury wood scraps in backfill (termites, carpenter ants, settling).
Use vibration-dampening grips on vibrating power tools.
Avoid repetitive motions for long periods of time.
Always use GFI (ground fault interrupt) outlets for outdoor or wet area electrical use.
And take a break before you get caffeine depleted.


Working at Height (falls from height is the #1 killer on the construction site)

Ladder Safetyladder angle

  • set at proper angle (750 or arms length)
  • if ground-to-roof is necessary, support midspan
  • foot properly (better to dig down than pad up)
  • tied or nailed off if necessary
  • 2-person carry if longer than 12′
  • 2-person setup for extension ladders
  • always climb with both hands free
  • never let ladder fall to ground
  • take down at end of day (wind, children)

Roof Bracket toe board

Scaffolding Safetypump jack

  • use only sound planks and don’t overload
  • use railings when working at height
  • nail brackets properly into solid framing
  • use toeboards or roof brackets on roof work
  • pump jacks require posts every 10’ and bracing every 10’ of height



Fall Protection

Three Strategies:

  1. Fall Guarding
  2. Fall Restraint
  3. Fall Arrest

3 StrategiesFall Distance

I have long taught that the difference between a master carpenter and a novice is not that the master doesn’t make mistakes, but that (s)he knows how to fix any mistakes as if they never happened.

However – one mistake in safety can lead to a disaster that cannot be undone. Safety is the one area which demands perfection.



This site is my gift to you. If you find value here and are moved to reciprocate:

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If you need project consultation or design services, contact me directly at

HouseWright (at) Ponds-Edge (dot) net.


by Robert Riversong: may be reproduced only with author attribution for non-commercial purposes and a link to this page

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