What Are Safety Hazards When Sewing?

Last Updated on March 21, 2023

Let’s talk about safety hazards when sewing work. Often, Safety rules are treated with disdain. However, safety rules must be known and observed in the work process, even if you are not at the workplace but at home.

Many people only consider needles and sharp pins as possible safety hazards. But you should be aware of many other risks involved in sewing before getting started.

safety hazards when sewing
Image: Canva

It’s important to know about the various types of sewing safety so that you can take precautionary measures to avoid potential harm.

From a common sewing tool to specialized equipment, the wrong hands or minds may easily get into trouble while sewing.

Although mistakes occur, it is essential to be aware of safety when working with sewing projects and materials.

Why Are Sewing Safety Rules Important?

Sewing safety rules are extremely important to minimize the chances of injury and accidents. These include using safety equipment like a thimble, mask, and gloves; checking the condition of tools like needles and scissors before using them; and being aware of your surroundings and workspace.

Also, keeping both hands away from the needle while sewing is important as it can cause serious injury if not followed. 

What Are Safety Hazards When Sewing?

Here we will try to cover the various safety hazards that one may encounter during a typical sewing project, as well as helpful tips on how to handle them safely for a successful and enjoyable experience.

You need to know and apply the following rules when working on a machine.

1. Be Calm and Attentive

You must be calm and attentive while working. Careless handling of the sewing machine may result in injuries such as:

  • Finger piercing with a machine needle;
  • Getting hands, hair, and ends of clothing into moving parts of the machine;
  • Injury by moving parts of the machine (abrasion of the skin on the flywheel, belt etc.);
  • Electric shock.

2. Take Care of the Equipment

The machine and other equipment must always be in good condition. It is necessary to constantly take care of the equipment and check the safety of the electrical wire connections, plug, the integrity of the machine needle, etc.

3. Prepare Your Workspace

Before starting work, it is necessary to inspect your workplace and, if necessary, put it in order. Make sure that the sewing machine is idling, its starting devices, the starting pedal, and the presence and serviceability of the drive guard. Check the reliability of fastening removable parts (needle plate, foot).

4. Safe Threading and Bobbin Installation

Turn off your sewing machine first. Installing the bobbin case and threading the upper thread is carried out only when the machine is turned off.

5. Clean and Lubricate Safely

Cleaning and lubricating the machine should be done safely while the sewing machine is turned off. At least keep one foot away from the foot pedal to avoid accidental activation.

6. Belt Installation – Ensuring the Motor is Off

It is important to install the belt onto the sewing machine’s pulley when the electric motor is completely powered off to ensure maximum safety and prevent any potential accidents or mishaps.

7. Replacing Broken Needles

To secure safety and avoid any potential accidents, it is important to replace broken needles safely when the electric motor is completely switched off and is no longer in operation.

8. Store Tools Properly

Sewing scissors, patterns, and other sewing tools should always be kept in their specific area, away from rotating parts of the machine.

9. Ensure Clean and Tidy Workspace

Maintaining a clean and organized sewing workspace is essential for productivity and safety. Ensure any sewing tools are not scattered haphazardly but systematically stored in designated locations where they can be easily accessed.

10. Connect or Disconnect Plugs with Dry Hands

Use caution when connecting or disconnecting the electrical plug from the socket to reduce the risk of electric shock. Always keep your hands completely dry, as this simple precaution can massively reduce the chances of getting an injury.

11. Keep Fingers Safe During Sewing Operations

During machine operation, hold the fabric with your hands away from the needle to avoid getting your fingers under the needle. The left hand should be located on the fabric, maintaining a given direction.

12. Avoid Getting Hair Caught

Do not lean too close to the thread take-up to avoid getting hair caught and being hit by the thread take-up. Leaning too close may result in your hair becoming entangled or being struck by the moving parts of the thread take-up system.

13. Safely Removing Stuck Threads or Fabric

Suppose a thread or a piece of fabric becomes accidentally stuck inside the sewing machine’s motor. In that case, it is essential to immediately power it off and carefully remove the obstructing material to avoid any potential motor damage or further problems during operation.

14. Flywheel Safety

Do not brake the flywheel of the machine during operation in order to avoid injury to the hands.

15. Do Not Touch the Needle While Machine is Running

Do not touch the needle while the machine is running, and do not remove guards and safety devices while the machine is running. At the end of work, turn off the machine and clean up the workplace.

Safety Regulations for Ironing After Sewing

When performing ironing, the following rules must be observed.

Image: Canva
  • During ironing fabric, you must be careful and attentive. Remember that the process requires a lot of attention. Careless handling of the iron can result in injury.
  • Do not touch the electrically conductive parts of the electric iron, plug, socket, or knife switch.
  • Before starting work, it is necessary to check the cord’s insulation on the electric iron. A faulty cord can cause burns to the hands and electric shock to the whole body.
  • Before starting work, it is necessary to check and prepare the workplace and pay attention to the cleanliness of the iron soleplate and the presence of a rubber mat or a wooden stand. 
  • Check the serviceability of the ironed table and the serviceability of the handle of the iron.
  • All parts of the electric iron must be covered with a casing.
  • The iron handle must be made of materials that do not conduct electricity, do not heat up, and have a smoothly polished surface.
  • Work with an electric iron only on a rubber mat or a special iron board.
  • During operation, put the iron only on a special stand.
  • Do not allow the cord to touch the iron, as the insulation on the cable may burn.
  • Avoid exposure and twisting of electrical wires. This can cause sparking and a short to the chassis.
  • Do not stick needles and pins into an ironed table.
  • Monitor the heating of the iron and prevent it from overheating. 
  • Do not allow a drop of water to fall on an overheated iron – you can get a burn to your hands and eyes. You can cool an overheated iron with a damp cloth. The iron must be unplugged and cooled by running it over a damp cloth.
  • Always turn off the iron when interrupting work and at the end of it. An unplugged iron is often the cause of a fire.
  • If a malfunction of the electric iron, plug, socket, or knife switch is detected, stop work and call an electrician.

Video: Safety When using An Electric Iron

Discover essential safety tips in IMU Cares‘ latest video: ‘Safety When Using an Electric Iron’ – stay protected while keeping your clothes wrinkle-free!

Safety at the End of Work

Clean up the work area when finished. All tools and fixtures must be in a strictly defined place.


In conclusion, addressing safety hazards when sewing is vital for injury prevention, ensuring a secure and enjoyable crafting experience for all. To ensure safety while sewing, stay vigilant of potential hazards like sharp tools, electrical risks, and ergonomic strain, and practice caution.

Remember, At least once every 4 months, Repair and lubricate gears in the machine, inspect and sharpen cutting tools (knives) in the machine, and, if necessary, adjust the mechanism. At least once a year, it is necessary to disassemble and clean the whole sewing machine.

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