Follow Safety Practices while Building Your Beehives - dummies

Follow Safety Practices while Building Your Beehives

By Howland Blackiston

Safety involves more than just wearing the right safety gear. You want to ensure that your workshop environment and your own behavior keep safety paramount. Here are some critical best practices to follow:

  • Be fresh: It’s tempting to come home after a long day at work and tackle just one more beehive project before bedtime. Resist the temptation. If you’re feeling tired, it’s not the time to be building beehives. You may only make a mistake in measurement and waste some wood, but you could have a serious accident.

  • Clean up: Make cleaning your work space after every session a routine practice. Sweeping or vacuuming sawdust, wood chips, and liquid spills keeps your work space looking nice and, more important, keeps the environment safer to work in.

  • Keep guard: Many power tools have guards built into them to protect you from serious injury. Never remove these guards, even if you think they get in the way of your work. Tools can become downright dangerous without them.

  • Light up: Provide yourself with as much light as possible in your shop. Invest in some bright shop lights to fully illuminate your work area as you operate your power tools.

  • Slow down: Building beehives isn’t a race. Take your time. Haste makes waste, my mom always said. If you’re in a hurry, you’ll certainly make mistakes or, worse, cause injuries. Going slowly results in easier and more accurate cuts and a better-looking project.

  • Stay sharp: Clean, sharp tools are not only easier to work with but also result in crisper, cleaner cuts. Clean your saw blades after each use and periodically have them sharpened by a professional.

  • Stay sober: Working in the shop isn’t the time to celebrate with a glass of mead or a frosty brew. Stay alert, and stay away from any substance that lessens your ability to focus on the tasks at hand. Drugs and alcohol have no place in the workshop. Even over-the-counter cold medications can compromise your attention. A split second of mental distraction can have serious consequences.

Some hobbies are inherently more dangerous than others, and one that includes power tools with sharp saw blades is certainly in that category. Follow these guidelines so you have plans in place in case of emergency:

  • Have a list of emergency numbers and a first-aid kit handy, just in case something goes wrong. Decent first-aid kits are available at any pharmacy and typically include what’s needed for a simple patch-up or to hold you over until you can get to a doctor if needed. You can find a more comprehensive contractor’s first-aid kit at big-box home improvement centers.

  • Be sure to let someone in the house know you’re working in the shop or make sure a neighbor is around to help you if necessary.

  • Have a fire extinguisher readily available where you do your woodworking.