What does a carpenter do?
A carpenter builds or repairs various structures, working primarily with wood. Some of a carpenter's main duties are to:
- Measure, cut, shape, assemble and join materials.
- Read, prepare and interpret blueprints and drawings.
- Prepare cost estimates and documentation for clients.
- Conform to building codes and other regulations.
- Use, clean and maintain various equipment and tools.
- Supervise apprentices or other workers.
What are some health and safety issues for carpenters?
Carpenters face their own unique set of occupational hazards. These include the following:
What are some preventive measures for carpenters?
- Inspect work area, tools and equipment before work starts for possible hazards.
- Keep tools and equipment in good working order.
- Know when to replace accessories on woodworking machines.
- Clean up wood dust regularly and maintain good housekeeping practices.
- Keep work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
- Disconnect the power to any machine when you have to fix an issue, or change parts. Use lock-out/tag out procedures and/or maintain control of the power while working on the machine to prevent accidental start-up.
- Never operate machinery without all guards in place.
- Wear appropriate eye protection, hearing protection, footwear, and other protective equipment for the task.
- Learn safe lifting techniques.
- Avoid awkward postures or repetitive tasks, or take frequent breaks.
- Be sure to stand in the correct position - always allow for kick back.
- Never use your hands to run lumber through the blade or to clean off sawdust. Use a push stick and a brush.
- Do not wear loose clothing around rotating parts or machinery.
- Follow a recommended shift work pattern, and know the associated hazards.
- Install and maintain good ventilation.
What are some good general safe work practices?
Where can I get more information?
General information is available in OSH Answers or through the CCOHS person-to-person Inquiries Service.
Document last updated on July 17, 2014
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