This safety tip may be something that you think is quite obvious, but remember when you are in a workshop and sharing tools, it may be easy to overlook the obvious….and place someone and/or a tool at risk.
I was recently in a workshop where I observed a large spark off to the side of me. It was almost like fireworks. Instantly I realized there was an electrical problem, but I wasn’t certain what had happened. All the sewing machines had been shutoff, during an unexpected power surge….but what happened?
One of my classmates (easily could have been me) was sharing a cutting mat, with rotary cutter, that was also very close to a portable iron and ironing pad. As fabric had accidently been laid over the electrical cord to the iron, someone cutting fabric accidently cut the electrical cord. And sparks went flying.
We were fortunate. No one was hurt. No machines were hurt. But the cord to the iron was definitely deemed unsafe for future use, and the blade to the rotary cutter has a burnt chip that deems it unusable. Yes, we were all fortunate.
Lesson learned: Watch out for yourself and others, especially when sharing tools in close working areas. Be sure to keep power cords visible and away from cutting tools.