Steve Eikenberry

Much has transpired since last month’s safety report! Safety is now an official shop department, and a large emphasis will be put towards shop safety in the coming months. We are moving towards having a Safety Person in the shop during hours open to members. Thirty-three shop members responded to our recent post for safety help, and most of those folks are interested in shop safety duty. We held our first meeting via ZOOM to organize and gather the thoughts of members interested in participating in shop safety. And we’ve scheduled our first in-person safety training session for April 24 th . Special red safety department shirts are being designed and you’ll soon see safety personnel wearing them while on duty. (Here’s a little secret...some of us are already on voluntary safety duty incognito! )

The role of the safety department person on duty will be to instruct the shop monitors in safe procedures and what to watch for so we can keep all of our members safe. Monitors will be able to rely on the safety person to help with a multitude of shop operations and practices. They will also be available to answer questions on safe ways to use our machinery and accomplish woodworking tasks. The Safety Department is there for help members work safety.

Understandably, some of us have been performing woodworking tasks our own way for a long time. If you are approached and asked to perform your task an alternative way, please be courteous, and feel free to discuss it with the safety person. Our goal is for members to work safely, and we understand sometimes what appears unsafe may still be the best way to accomplish a task. As we “keep an eye on the shop” help us by pointing out unsafe conditions or if you see a member might need some friendly advice. We’re there to serve our shop members. Shop safety is really EVERYONE’S responsibility!

As the new head of the Safety Department, I want to thank John Herega for his many long years as safety director, and his continuing help as we move into a new phase of shop safety. John has invaluable experience that he willingly shares, and his expertise is welcomed as we go forward.

As we gear up in the next weeks, our coverage may be spotty, and we’ll still be learning best practices ourselves. We’re open to comments, suggestions, and of course...if you wish to join the Safety Department, just let us know!