Shop Safety

It’s ironic that while few enthusiasts would race a car without appropriate safety gear like a helmet, harness, race suit and roll cage, most people seem to take a laissez-faire approach to shop safety—or just ignore it altogether.

The current crop of TV reality shows like “Monster Garage” and “American Chopper” are seemingly reinforcing this attitude by showing professionals working with little regard to safety as the sparks fly. Sure, it’s cool to be like the guys on TV and use a MIG welder with one hand while merely squinting to block the sparks, but in reality such practices can stop a project cold.

We know that our readers are smarter than the masses huddled before their TV sets, so we figured it was time to discuss shop safety. The fingers you save may be your own.

What the Doctors See

To get a real-world impression of the common workshop-related injuries that are out there, we went right to the source: an ER doctor. We talked to Dr. Jim Walters from North Ottawa Community Hospital in Grand Haven, Mich.

The first thing Dr. Walters said was that most of the injured people he sees come in feeling stupid for not taking appropriate, commonsense safety measures. Their injuries usually fall into these categories, in this order of prevalence:

Hurt Fingers: Slipped wrenches or other hand tools can easily cause cut or smashed fingers, as people just don’t think ahead when they’re putting a lot of force into something, our doctor says. When the tool slips, the user can easily end up with damaged body parts (and we’re not talking about hoods and fenders.) The treatment usually involves stitches, casts or bandages.

Foreign Matter in Eyes: Using a power tool like a grinder or working beneath a car can easily send crusty bits of matter into the eye. No matter what the source, good eye protection would have stopped the injury. Walters says that if you know something is stuck in your eye, get it out right away, either at home or with a physician’s help. If the offending object stays in too long, it could get really stuck or stain the eye. When this happens, not only does the doctor have to pick out the foreign matter, they literally drill into the cornea to remove the stain and repair the eye. The patient will then be advised to stay in the dark for about 24 hours while using antibiotic eye drops.

Flash burns: Also known as ultraviolet keratitis in that the corneas are effectively sunburned, flash burns can result from welding without appropriate shaded eye protection. The result is fairly painful, and usually occurs five to six hours after the welding has happened, meaning the patient doesn’t realize he’s a victim until it’s too late. The treatment is similar to the foreign matter treatment—staying in the dark (or taping the eyes shut) for about 24 hours and using eye drops.

Other burns: General burns from hot mufflers or other parts of the car are also common. The treatment varies with the degree of the burn, but these can be quite painful and take some time to heal.

If working in the garage is part of your routine, Walters advises a current tetanus booster shot. Additionally, our doctor said that most of the things he sees are easily preventable, either by using good personal protection, keeping safety devices and guards on machines, and using safe shop practices, like properly jacking and supporting a car.

Let’s Get Personal

Good eye protection is essential. While safety glasses are good for all-around use, a face shield is better for more hazardous operations such as grinding.

Good eye protection is essential. While safety glasses are good for all-around use, a face shield is better for more hazardous operations such as grinding.

safety starts with personal safety gear. You should have gloves, eye protection, ear protection, foot protection and, in some cases, extra body protection as you work on your projects. Many people shun much of this equipment in the name of comfort, but if you find the right equipment and wear it regularly, you’ll soon find yourself uncomfortable without it.

Having a few sets of gloves is a good way to keep your hands comfortable and your fingerprints still attached to your fingers. We like to use disposable latex gloves when we work with solvents and paint, cotton gloves (that are nearly disposable) when we’re moving things or loading the trailer, and leather gloves for welding and grinding operations.

If you’ve tried gloves and found them uncomfortable or not giving you the “feel” you desire, try another type or just give them a little time before giving up. You’ll soon find that they increase your productivity as well as safety.

A face shield and a set of safety glasses are an absolute must for a lot of operations in your shop. Try to wear the face shield most of the time, as it offers a lot more protection for your eyes. We use a face shield when we’re grinding or at the bench grinder and wear safety glasses for less intensive activities.

We usually wear a dust mask with the face shield for two reasons. First, grinding usually produces dust—sometimes toxic—and the mask keeps it out of our lungs. Second, the mask keeps us from fogging up the face shield.

Speaking of masks, you’ll want some of these, too. There are a lot of bad things in shop dust and car dust, like the asbestos that can be found in some brake linings, so appropriate disposable particle masks are essential. If you’re working with paint or solvents, it’s time to step up to the appropriate respirator. You’ll want to check with an auto parts store or paint supplier to match a particle mask and respirator to your needs. This can be a bit confusing, but it beats coughing up nasties or getting cancer, so it’s well worth the effort.

For welding, a proper helmet is absolutely essential. Auto-darkening helmets are proven safer than manual helmets and are pretty affordable these days.

If your welder came with a set of goggles or a hand-held “mask,” throw it away. Without proper eye protection, not only will your welds stink (because you can’t see what you’re welding), you can really screw up your eyes in a matter of seconds. Ask around, and you’ll hear of somebody who’s had flash burns from welding. They’ll tell you to always wear a helmet.

The research on prolonged exposure to noise causing hearing damage is clear: If you don’t wear ear protection, you’re eventually going to greatly diminish your hearing ability. We use three types of ear protection, depending on what we are doing.

Most of the time, we use headphone-type ear protection. Sometimes, we’ll use the earplug style, like when we’re welding when someone else is making a lot of noise. (The headphone-type ear protection won’t fit under the welding helmet.) We always carry a few sets of disposable earplugs in the glove boxes of our cars in case we need some at the race track or other noisy place.

If you’ve ever dropped something that weighs more than about 1 pound on your feet, then you’ll understand why steel-toed boots are essential in your shop. We strongly recommend them. Just like other safety gear, they may feel uncomfortable at first, but if you buy a decent pair and break them in, they’ll save you from flat toes very nicely.

If steel-toed shoes just aren’t going to work for you, at least wear leather shoes, not canvas or nylon ones. A smoldering ember from a grinder, welder or torch is not going to burn through the leather as fast as the other materials. Have you ever seen someone doing the welder’s dance when an ember burns through the top of his shoe? It’s not fun.

For some operations, there are times to wear a coat or apron. You should always wear a welding jacket when you’re welding, and sometimes a leather apron is good for welding or grinding work.

When you’re welding, also wear long sleeves, long pants and even try to cover your neck. (A proper welding coat will also cover the neck.) Otherwise, in addition to the potential for burns, you’re getting infrared radiation from the welding process that can give you a sunburn.

All of these items will cost a few bucks, but the last personal safety item costs nothing: common sense. Don’t wear loose clothing that can get caught on things like a spinning bench grinder. If you have long hair, tie it back. Like to wear jewelry? Maybe it’s best to take it off when working on the car. Don’t use power tools or work near operating machinery when wearing a necktie.

Generally speaking, if something seems like it may hurt someone, take a moment to think of a safer way to do it. (More on this later on.)

FIRE!!

Keep several quality fire extinguishers in your shop. The one on the left is a carbon dioxide unit and won’t make a mess when it puts out the fire.

Keep several quality fire extinguishers in your shop. The one on the left is a carbon dioxide unit and won’t make a mess when it puts out the fire.

One of the biggest risks in a shop is fire. Most cars contain batteries, gas, oil and other things that can easily catch fire or explode. Welding, grinding and heating parts with a torch all increase the likelihood of fire. Despite these risks, it’s amazing how many people have no fire protection in their shops.

We keep several fire extinguishers in our shop. We always make sure we know right where they are, and if we’re doing something that risks fire, we put them right beside us so we can immediately put out any fire that starts.

We have the dry chemical fire extinguishers, but also have a carbon dioxide unit that we’d use first. The dry units are cheaper and effective on most types of fire, but they make a big mess. The carbon dioxide units cost more—they start at about $50—but don’t make a mess. Should a car catch fire, we’d rather use the carbon dioxide unit so we have less cleanup, and would grab it first.

If the carbon dioxide extinguisher won’t finish the job, we’ll pick up one of the dry chemical units next. When fighting a fire, remember to point the extinguisher at the base of the fire, not at the flames.

Fire extinguishers can be purchased just about anywhere, but most of the ones you see at retail stores are light-duty cheapo units. While they’re better than nothing, we feel industrial-grade units are a better choice. We’ve found that we can buy reconditioned used units from fire extinguisher companies for just a bit more than cheapo models. These models usually have more capacity than the retail units in addition to better build quality.

Common sense applies to fire safety just as it does to personal safety. When we’re welding, grinding or doing other operations that create a fire risk, we make sure that the sparks aren’t going to hit something that could go boom. Probably the biggest risk is the wastebasket, so we keep that far away. Gas cans, paint, solvents and thinners are all kept in separate areas.

Rags, especially oily ones, can also be a fire hazard. A rag can with an airtight lid is a smart investment. Not only does the can starve a potential fire of oxygen, but the closed lid keeps out sparks.

More common sense tells us that if we are going to risk setting a car on fire, it’s wise to have it on its wheels and not blocked in place. If a fire gets out of control, we can push the car through the door and not burn the shop down with the car inside.

Finally, we believe in the “15 minute rule” for fire safety. We spend the last 15 minutes of our shop time cleaning up or admiring our work, not making sparks or doing anything that may cause a fire. Sometimes an ember may smolder for awhile before turning into a fire, and the “15 minute rule” lets us make sure that doesn’t happen after we leave.

Shop Practices

The right way to grind: Full-face shield for the eyes, ear muffs for the ears, long sleeves for the arms, and gloves for the hands.

The right way to grind: Full-face shield for the eyes, ear muffs for the ears, long sleeves for the arms, and gloves for the hands.

If you get into the habit of working safely in your shop, then you probably will get to stay out of the emergency room most of the time. Here are some practices that will keep you safe.

When you’re working with wrenches on stuck parts, use the longest wrench possible so that you can employ the mechanical advantage for lighter, steadier force. Think about what the wrench is going to hit if it slips or the bolt breaks; then position yourself so that it doesn’t hit you.

If you’re drilling, clamp the part down so that it won’t spin out of control if the drill bit gets caught. Likewise, try to hold the drill with both hands so the drill won’t jump away if the bit gets caught. (If you have been practicing shop safety, you should still have two hands.)

Never hold a part in your hand and drill into it. If the part slips, you’re going to have a painful hole in your hand. (Ask how we know.)

When you’re working with bench grinders, make sure that you’re not standing in the potential flight path of the part you’re working on. Before grinding, buffing or wire-wheeling, think about where the part may go if the wheel grabs it. Then make sure the part will go past you and not into you. Don’t forget to consider how the part may bounce. A ricochet shot into the back of the head still smarts.

Also think about how you can firmly grip the piece so it won’t get away from you. However, don’t grip the part so firmly that your hand could get pulled into the grinder if the piece gets caught. Keep a set of gloves and eye protection near the grinders at all times so it’s convenient to put them on when you get to work.

Similar rules apply to handheld grinders. Make sure the grinder won’t get the best of you, and especially think about where the sparks are going to go. If the tool has the power to grind metal, just what do you think it will do when it encounters human flesh?

When you’re working with hammers and chisels or punches, use the biggest hammer you can so you can again use mechanical advantage the right way. Your strength is better used to hold the chisel or punch in position than to swing the hammer hard.

Before swinging away, think about where the chisel or punch may go if it slips out of position. Make sure it isn’t going to hurt anyone or damage anything. And never strike a punch or chisel that has a mushroomed end—a fragment may break off and take your eye out. (You are wearing eye protection, right?)

Try to avoid heavy lifting. Can you use a jack, cherry picker or ramps instead? Can you get a helper? If you must do the heavy lifting, make sure you’re doing it in a back-friendly way and think ahead. Can you lift it in a way that minimizes damage to you or the object if it gets dropped? Here are some hints: Don’t lift objects over other objects or yourself, don’t lift them too high in one step, and don’t lift them if you have a bad grip.

When you’re working on a car, follow these simple rules for a long and healthy life: Never open a radiator cap or work with a battery with your face or any other part of your body in direct line of the potential explosion. If you’re working with electrical components, disconnect the ground or both cables at the battery, not just the positive cable (assuming negative ground). Always disconnect the ground first, because you risk shorting the wrench to ground. Never work under a car without jack stands put in safe places. Never work under a car that’s on cement blocks or other things that are not jack stands. Make sure the car is in neutral before you try to start it.

Don’t grab or touch hot things.

Try to avoid performing dangerous operations when you’re alone in the shop. If something bad happens, who’s going bail you out or call for more help? If you’re pinned under a car, it won’t be you.

If it’s not practical to have someone there, make sure there’s a plan for someone to check on you from time to time, or at least keep a phone by your side so you can call 911. (If you’re still conscious, of course.)

Working while drunk, tired, angry, stressed, rushed or under the influence of drugs can also be very dangerous. Work while sober and with a clear head.

Know where your first-aid kit is located and check its contents often. There’s nothing worse than opening up a first-aid kit to find it empty. (Been there, done that.)

Make your friends and guests follow your rules, and explain the rules when they are in your shop. Keep some extra safety gear around for them to wear. Sure, they may think you’re not as cool as the guys on “American Chopper,” but a buddy with one less eye (or a lawsuit for you) isn’t very cool either.

Make Safety a Habit

There’s nothing like a 2-inch gash in your hand from a rusty chassis to remind you to always wear gloves.

There’s nothing like a 2-inch gash in your hand from a rusty chassis to remind you to always wear gloves.

While we’ve really just scratched the surface of safety practices for you and your shop, we hope that we’ve given you some ideas to build upon. Our final recommendation is to make a habit out of safety. Don’t forget about this corollary to Murphy’s Law: The one time you leave off your safety gear is the one time you’ll need it.

If you always go about things in a safe way, you’ll find the gear and practices more comfortable than the “Monster Garage” methods. This in turn will keep you working on your car instead of dressing your wounds.

Epilogue: Do as We Say, Not as We Do

Just as we were finishing this story, we had to move a rusty chassis that was in our shop. “It’s just a couple of feet,” we said. So, while we always wear gloves for this type of thing, since it was just a couple of feet, we did it bare-handed.

The 2-inch gash in the right hand bled like stink for about an hour and hurt for about a week. Good thing we’d had our tetanus shots.

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alex
alex UberDork
2/15/12 6:23 p.m.

Although it seems counterintuitive, I disagree with the advice to wear gloves when grinding. Given the choice, I'd rather have an abrasion than the broken (or torn off!) finger that could be the result of the grinder grabbing the glove material.

BirgerBuilder
BirgerBuilder New Reader
7/21/18 7:17 a.m.
alex said:

Although it seems counterintuitive, I disagree with the advice to wear gloves when grinding. Given the choice, I'd rather have an abrasion than the broken (or torn off!) finger that could be the result of the grinder grabbing the glove material.

I was taught by a professional machinist that you should never wear gloves, (Or anything below your elbow) While using any tool that spins, lathe, mill, drillpress etc. He's 50-some years old and still has all his fingers so I'm inclined to believe him. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
7/21/18 8:06 a.m.

Some of the worst machine shop horror stories I have read involved gloves getting caught.

 

If you must wear gloves, wear those latex or nitrile ones.  They aren't terribly great for preventing heat, but they do keep your hands clean, and if they catch on something they will harmlessly rip apart instead of dragging you in.

 

One downside is that torching spatter, instead of bouncing harmlessly off of bare skin, will blow right through the material and be unable to blow right back out again.

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
7/21/18 8:22 a.m.

I struggle with the gloves / no gloves thing.  I have a side business building stuff (generally fitness-related equipment) out of steel, so a grinder or 3 is always near by.  The issue I have is that if I don't use gloves, the teeny-tiny shards of metal that the grinder produces (or or the drill or the saw or etc) inevitably become embedded in the skin on my hands.  And metal splinters are sooooo much worse than a wood splinter, since half the time you can't even see them.  I have one right now that I can tell is there, but I can't see it or even a slight dark spot where I think it is.  If I use gloves, this happens way less.  

On top of that, handling steel straight from the mill is incredibly dirty work - I can't imagine the black detritus of the mill on your skin is particularly healthy either.  

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. 

Otherwise, the safety glasses go on and the ear plugs go in as soon as I get the lights on in the shop, the respirator gets worn pretty much any time the grinder or welder comes out, and I never weld without long sleeves and only rarely without long pants.  So generally, I'm very safety conscious.  Meanwhile, next door to me is a granite counter fab shop, and I see them grinding away often, engulfed in a cloud of granite dust, with neither ear plugs, safety glasses, or a respirator or dust mask on.  

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
7/21/18 8:44 a.m.

Two big sellers when I ran the burn unit were busted radiator hose on a hot engine and "oopsie" events involving an acetylene torch usually making (brief) contact with the hoses.  I won't mention "starting the burn pile"  or "getting the BBQ going."

 

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
7/21/18 10:05 a.m.

I had a rad hose pop off while I was in front of it three weeks ago. At least it was just water, but 1st and 2nd degree burns.

I also struggle with gloves.  1) my skin cannot handle grease and solvents any more, so I need them protected 2) I've lost a lot of skin on the wire wheel 3) leather gloves slow the zip disk down a bit as they are cutting through, and things get just warm before they get bloody.  But as a teen I had a glove and a shirt sleeve caught by conveyor belt clips.

I can't stand the paper dust masks; they don't fit right, they don't seal, and they are uncomfortable. I bought one of these last year, and I love it.  I'm way more inspired to wear it, because it fits, it stays, it seals, and it works (and mostly fits under my welding mask):

spandak
spandak Reader
7/21/18 10:36 a.m.

Hearing protection has become much more important to me as of late. Once I started wearing ear plugs on the motorcycle everything else in life seemed to get louder. If that sounds like a metaphor it’s not. So I now wear plugs or muffs anytime things start to get loud. I’m hoping it pays dividends in the long run. 

Wearing glasses seems to be my challenge. I don’t mind them when they are brand new and clear but after a while they get scratched up and I can’t stand looking through scratched lenses so they come off. It’s stupid I know. 

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
7/21/18 6:16 p.m.
SkinnyG said:

 

I can't stand the paper dust masks; they don't fit right, they don't seal, and they are uncomfortable. I bought one of these last year, and I love it.  I'm way more inspired to wear it, because it fits, it stays, it seals, and it works (and mostly fits under my welding mask):

Is that the Miller respirator?  I've got a 3M that seems okay for welding, but if I'm spraying (painting) something I can tell it's not sealing properly because the "valley" on the sides of of my nose end up the same color as whatever I'm spraying.  

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
7/21/18 6:37 p.m.

An acquaintance just posted this picture on FB. No one hurt and minor damage to the burb. 

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
7/21/18 7:14 p.m.
NorseDave said:

Is that the Miller respirator?  I've got a 3M that seems okay for welding, but if I'm spraying (painting) something I can tell it's not sealing properly because the "valley" on the sides of of my nose end up the same color as whatever I'm spraying.  

It is.  It's a filter, though, not a respirator.  It will just filter out particulates, not smells. I don't know if they sell charcoal inserts.

For paints, I use a full charcoal mask, I store it in a big ziplock so the charcoal stays fresher longer (no point having it filter air I'm not breathing).  For catalyzed paints, I use fresh canisters and throw them away after, hoping for the best.

And Spandak, I'm with you on hearing protection.  Pretty much any power tool. I even wear ear muffs mowing the lawn. Amazing how loud a chop saw is when you're used to wearing muffs around one. I have a set of form-fitted ear plugs for driving the Lethal Locost (Super 7) at 119dB of wind noise, and it's so much easier to just put them in a forget about them.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
7/21/18 7:17 p.m.

There's no motor/trans in that 'Burb.  Looks like someone mis-judged the balance point for when the drivetrain was yanked?

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
7/21/18 8:00 p.m.

In reply to spandak :

I wear hearing protection all of the time now. Every power tool, lawn mower, even the electric line trimmer and edger.

Like almost any baby boomer, I've got some hearing loss, but I'm trying to preserve what is left. 

The thing that I find especially annoying is the volume at the movies, or any amplified music show. I understand the appeal, my ears rang for a couple of days after a Led Zeppelin concert, but now I know that is a certain indication of permanent hearing loss. 

I take ear plugs to the movies when I remember.

One thing I have read is that the more hearing loss you already have, the more susceptible you are to further damage. I'm not 100% certain on that, perhaps a better informed member of the forum might comment.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
7/21/18 8:25 p.m.

When it comes to wearing gloves and long sleeves around spinny things. I was taught that if there is a chance of gloves and/or shirt sleeves getting caught then it is time to use something to hold the part being grinded on, like vice grips or similar that moves your hand further away from the spinny thing.

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
7/21/18 9:12 p.m.
SkinnyG said:

There's no motor/trans in that 'Burb.  Looks like someone mis-judged the balance point for when the drivetrain was yanked?

He said the rear arms failed to lock and moved forward. My understating is it was up in the air and no one was on the building when it happened. My guess just looking at that picture is it was positioned too far to the rear. I don't know if the drivetrain was pulled after it was placed on the lift but that certainly seems plausible. 

To the original topic. I'm big on hearing protection. About the only time I don't have ear plugs in is when I'm sitting on the couch watching TV. I have two 3M respirators hanging above my work bench and several sets of safety glasses/goggles spread out in various places in the garage for easy access. The only thing not consistently good about is wearing gloves. I just can't get used to the reduction in feel while wearing them. My hands have the scars and cuts and scrapes to prove it too.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
7/21/18 9:27 p.m.

In reply to Nick Comstock :

 

The lift pads are also set really high.  This a massive safety peeve of mine.  Lift pads should always be as low as necessary to clear the body and no higher.  The higher the pads, the sketchier things get.

 

I will assume that it only looks like it was set too far back, because the whole thing DID shift and fall down.  It might have been two feet forward before it fell down, after all.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
7/21/18 9:32 p.m.

I had these made last year or so. I still owe someone one but I can't remember who. 

The scariest machine in my shop is probably the tire machine. I'm pretty sure it would remove a couple of fingers without too much trouble. The mill is a close second. 

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
7/21/18 10:06 p.m.

My chain saw scares me the most.

Followed next by the table saw.

Followed by my 2-post hoist.  Pics like above don't help inspire confidence in me.

Followed by the lathe, though I am very comfortable operating a lathe. Nothing produces quick buggery like spinning things and your fingers.

djsilver
djsilver Reader
7/21/18 10:31 p.m.

I've been wearing ear plugs at work (construction work, then power generation) for the last 40 years, but after a bout of otitis media recently that really impacted my hearing on (hopefully) a temporary basis, I've switched to ear muffs.  I have them clipped to my hard hat at work and hanging on my toolbox in the garage, and ear plugs in my side table drawer in the living room for when wifey turns the TV up too loud.  I had an extensive hearing test done 2 years ago and she explained that your threshold for hearing moves up, but your threshold for hearing discomfort doesn't, so you can get to the point that by the time you can hear it, it hurts.  I'm hoping to make it another 4 years to retirement before I get hearing aids, but I'm not so sure now...,

My rule for gloves is that if I'm holding the spinny thing, I wear gloves.  If I'm holding an object against a spinny thing, I don't wear gloves.  

I have safety glasses, goggles, and a face shield for use as needed.

I have 2 floor jacks, a transmission jack, a pair of ramps and 3 sets of jack stands.  I had a 2nd cousin get crushed under a car. 

I do need to add a switch to my chuck holder for the lathe so that it won't start unless the chuck is in the holder!

I also have my own metal locker for cans of flammable stuff and a fire extinguisher in the garage.  Just to prove I'm getting old, I even have one in my truck, mounted on the floor under the rear seat.

 

 

Torqued
Torqued New Reader
7/25/18 11:22 a.m.

The instructions for my auto-darkening welding helmet say that it is not to be used for oxy-acetylene welding so I still use the goggles for gas welding or cutting.  That brings up another issue:  The goggles won't fit over my prescription eyeglasses. Turns out that there are corrective inserts available for some brands/models of gas welding goggles that clip inside of the goggles. You do have to know the diopter correction that you need so you can purchase the right ones but they work great for me.

Another issue for those of us that must wear eyeglasses is that ear muffs don't seal as well over the bows of the glasses so we don't get quite the level of protection we would get without the glasses.  That is the reason that I wear earplugs whenever that is feasible - which brings up another issue for me:  I recently got hearing aids, which I have to remove to wear the ear plugs. (Tried just wearing the muffs, but they make the hearing aids squeal.)  So now, I keep a couple of small bottles old pill bottles or film cannisters in my shop to keep the hearing aids safe while I'm using the ear plugs.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
7/25/18 12:23 p.m.

These are cheap, and easy to use. 

 

I own a pair, but almost never see them in use anywhere else.  No excuse. 

bigeyedfish
bigeyedfish New Reader
7/25/18 1:20 p.m.

Gloves aren't a huge concern to me.  I won't wear them while running a bench grinder, mill, drill press, etc.  But I always wear them when running an angle grinder.

I have a stash of safety glasses and ear plugs in the garage and spares in each car in case I'm away from home and need them.

I agree with SkinnyG about the chainsaw and table saw.  Neither has bitten me yet, but there is so much potential for Oh E36 M3 Moments in each of those that I don't like using them.

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