Using basic common sense, as well (of course) as following formal regulation, is at the heart of all safe woodworking practices. However, with routing you need to couple this realistic approach to an understanding of the obvious physical dangers from the machine, its cutters and the workpiece, as well as the less apparent risks to health such as noise and dust.
Although it is easy to take safety for granted, with routers many of the dangers are more exaggerated because the cutting tool is hand-held and very much closer to you. It produces a lot of noise and dust and there are often exposed cutters spinning so fast you can hardly see them. However, protecting yourself from potential danger is simple and when used correctly, the router is quite safe.
Most accidents are down to operator error, but you must stay alert and be prepared for any eventuality. At 28,000 rpm accidents can happen fast! Safety issues can be divided into a number of categories, some of which affect you directly like noise and dust. Others are less clearly defined such as safe workholding, feed direction and router maintenance. Only key safety issues will be covered in detail in this section, the others are discussed in their relevant chapters elsewhere Knowledge Base.