Here at Durston Tools, we’re keen to help you create a productive and safe space to work – but we must point out that this brief guide should not be used as a benchmark for safety. We ask that you remember that you are responsible for your own health and safety, so please do take care.
Safeguarding Your Studio
It’s easy to get carried away whilst you’re crafting an exquisite piece of jewellery. After all, you’re busy exploring new techniques and perfecting your item, and you need to focus your attention on what you are doing. We’re not bemoaning having a passion for what you do, but do make sure you keep an eye out for potential safety issues.
As you would expect, larger jewellery workshops propound more in the way of risk. Smaller spaces are more easily policed and tend to have less power tools and machinery. Large workshops also have more in the way of hazardous chemicals and procedures. That said, if you are a small workshop owner (even if you’ve set up a comfy space in the cupboard under the stairs) you should still take care. Accidents happen, so don’t be complacent.
Top Tips to Protect Yourself
Familiarise yourself with the tools of your trade and the materials you will regularly use. Rolling mills, polishing machines, electric drills, buffing machines, grinders, etc. can all be hazardous if not used with safety in mind. You don’t have to undertake a full risk assessment, but do get to grips with potential hazards and do your best to minimise the chance of a problem.
- If you have lovely, long flowing locks we’re sure you’re very proud of your tresses – but keep long high tied up and out of the way. You don’t want it getting caught up in a rolling mill – now that could be painful!
- The same applies to dangling jewellery such as big hooped earrings and long necklaces – both might look pretty but could easily get tangled if you lean too far forward to focus on your work. Take care with loose clothing too – floaty scarves and baggy sleeves could become entangled.
- Don’t forget to protect your eyes too! When you are working on an item be aware of dust and tiny metal particles. Loose fragments can make their way into your eyes and cause irritation or damage. Safety glasses and a mask will guard against potential harm.
- Wear an apron to protect your clothing and skin. A heavy-duty leather apron is the best bet for jewellers (you can also wear it for a whole host of other work). Cowhide is robust, whilst also being surprisingly lightweight and comfy.
- Invest in a pair of gloves – ideal if you are carrying out mechanical work involving heat. Go for a pair that’s comfortable and durable – and of course, heat resistant! If you’re working with extreme temperatures, we suggest you opt for a pair of high heat gloves for added protection.