If I video taped all my wood working misadventures, I would rival Roy Underhill in footage. When I was younger, I didn't give safety a second thought, but even then I didn't think it was safe looking down the closed in space with that big ole blade pulling the wood away from you. I definitely utilized some long push blocks. When those 1" boards would grab and launch into the shop wall they ussualy split like firewood.
Back then I probably didnt have the correct blade, setup, or anything, but I gave it hell anyway. Now I have a nice tablesaw, so I don't have to attempt using the radial arm saw for anything but cross cutting.