The people who are part of the FWW community appear to take shop safety seriously, according to the results of the latest poll on Knots, the user forum on FineWoodworking.Com. Nearly 6 in 10 respondents say that they have four of the most important pieces of safety gear: hearing protection, eye protection, a dust collector, and a tablesaw with a riving knife to prevent kickback.

A total of 688 people voted in the poll, which closed on May 15, 2008. The table below gives the specifics:

The poll returned some interesting results.  For example, hearing protection was by far the most common individual piece of safety gear noted, with nearly 1 in 5 respondents saying they have it--many more than have eye protection. Few respondents (only 4 percent) said they own a dust collector; however, some commented that they use a shop vacuum for dust collection or work outdoors.  Only 4 respondents said they had none of this safety gear.

The other safety gear that respondents mentioned takes in a range of hardware. Here's a sampling:

"Crown guard permanently mounted on the table saw, run-off table on the saw, run-down brake motors on most machines, Euro-safety cutterblocks on the spindle moulder, rigger's gloves (for handling rough timbers), yellow rubberized knitted gloves (for sheet stock),  fire extinguishers (water, CO2 and dry powder), push sticks on many machines, carbon-filter respirator (for spraying), particulate filter (for some sanding), first-aid kit (with manual), eye wash station, etc, etc."

"I use a tablesaw with an overarm blade guard; an aftermarket addition. My unisaw wont accept a proper riving knife. However the splitter has kickback pawls, most riving knives do not. "

"The one safety device that is least mentioned: sharp cutting tools."

The poll is a throughly unscientific (but, we hope, thoroughly entertaining) part of FineWoodworking.Com. There's a new poll posted on the home page.