Sewing is, relatively speaking, a lot safer than many activities, but operating any machinery that has sharp moving parts still poses a danger. Garment workers in particular are exposed to accidents at work associated with using a knitting machine and here, Accident Advice Helpline publishes a handy guide on proper use of a knitting machine.
Sewing machines use electricity, and so the normal precautions that you should take when operating any electrical equipment apply. Ensure that your hands are not wet when operating the machine, and that any power cables have not become worn or frayed. When not using the knitting machine, make sure that is unplugged from the wall, as an idle knitting machine produces a considerable amount of heat. Consider buying a surge protector to stop any damage from happening to your knitting machine.
When operating the knitting machine, the most important safety tip to remember, is to keep your fingers away from the needle. Contact with your fingers can result in a nasty injury and it is the last thing you want to happen when trying to sew a garment. Most manufacturers of knitting machines will make a finger guard available to purchase and this should help to keep your fingers from getting caught in the needle. Around 60% of injuries related to sewing machines, are puncture wounds sustained to the hands from the needle.
Minimise distractions when using a knitting machine, and do not operate under any circumstances if you are tired or have consumed alcohol.
Never sew over straight pins. This will bend the straight pins at the very least, and may even end up breaking and lodging itself in your finger.
Do not try to sew any material which is too thick for your machine. Always choose the appropriate material and never try to force any materials through the sewing machine, as this could result in either damage to the machine, or a severe injury to yourself.
Consider the ergonomics of your sewing environment. Make sure your chair is not too high as this may cause you to excessively strain your back and risk an injury.
Always wear adequate footwear when operating a knitting machine. Foot pedals are liable to break and if you are wearing adequate footwear, this will prevent any injury. Footwear also helps protect against punctures from stray needles which may have fallen unnoticed onto to the floor.
Remember to stay safe when using a knitting machine and thank you for reading!
Date Published: January 28, 2014
Author: David Brown