Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Art Deboo, Feb 12, 2010.
I'd find them especially important if you didn't have depth perception.
I've done lots and lots of demos all over the country. I always wear my air helmet. I get lots of positive comments about wearing it too, vs virtually no comments that are negative. It's not just about my own personal safety, or about keeping insurance premiums down. It is about setting an example. I get enough email, comments in person, and over the phone to know that people do what I do, and buy what I buy. I do not claim any sort of authority, only make an observation.
From a purely personal point of view, I have no desire to have a group of strangers attempt to perform first aid on me until the paramedics arrive should something go wrong and I get smacked in the face. I don't know what would be worse - dying outright, or coming back to consciousness to find one of you guys giving me mouth to mouth!
I have used a microphone too, in conjunction with my air helmet. I have a voice that is strong enough to carry, and carry all day in most cases, but I will use a mike in certain situations. Again, no one has complained about the time to turn it on or off in conjunction with my air helmet. I have been involved in and seen enough mishaps on the lathe to know that while the chances are small, they aren't zero. And that in itself is enough to wear my air helmet when I demo.
As far as making it a rule, I think it should be a club by club issue. I don't think the central hive needs to be involved. But somehow, I doubt my opinion would be considered regarding that.
Tough question! Sometimes I could use an extra hand. An extra leg might help me get a leg up on the competition. I don't have an extra of either.
So....I am curious if we have any one reading this who is in the safety field that might have some stats to go with this thread? Unless I am misreading all these posts, we all seem to be basing our decisions to wear or not wear a shield on personal experience and anecdote? I don't know about everyone else, but I have found over the years that even when I feel my experience in something is pretty good my experiences are often not that typical when looked at as part of a much broader view. So..... I have gotten pretty leery of anecdotes as a primary way of making decisions.
Dont take me wrong....I know each of us is sharing our experiences honestly and I dont question that. I just question whether that is a good way to make a safety choice.
So how about it? Any safety specialists out there who can help us put some perspective on this?
Having asked that question....I have to admit that I am picky about when I wear a shield as well. I dont like it very much. But I do a modest amount of turning now with heavily winged wood with bark inclusions and I am very careful about stuff flying away and will always wear a shielf when fooling with that stuff. The force behind stuff coming off that lathe is impressive.
I know my face shield wont survive a heavy impact, but it will lesson it to some degree at least. And hopefully protect my eyes (I have come to enjoy binocular vision! <grin>) as well as my cheeks and forehead and jaw and front teeth. As the saying goes......it is probably better than a stick in the eye! (sorry....couldnt resist that...<grin>)
This is why I suggested that it would be a good idea for the AAW to initiate a study. That would help replace some anecdotes with information.
The AAW can't legislate "rules", but it can be a source of educational information. Educting the woodturning community is what the AAW is supposed to be about (I think). It seems to me that this aspect of turning should receive more attention. While nobody can ever say specifically the degree of injury you might receive while woodturning if a chunk of wood comes flying off the lathe and strikes you, but being well informed about the potential for injury and the degree of protection provided by various types of safety gear certainly can't be a bad thing.
For giggles I did send a note to a friend who is a safety officer for our region. His duties are broad so he is not a specialist in industrial safety like this, but he has lots of sources. Hopefully he will have access to some stats that might be applicable to us. If he finds something useful from reliable sources I will pass them on here for discussion.
In the meantime....your idea of some sort of safety study by AAW is terrific and might be a great way to dispel poorly founded notions we may have as woodturners.
For example....how are we being injured? And why? Is our injury rate good or bad compared to other similar fields?
As a group are we experiencing any illnesses greater than the general populace that might point to some environmental factor would could control.
Things like that.
It would be also interesting to look at the chemicals we use in our work and which ones are especially hazardous that we may be blithely using. Looking into this topic might involve going beyond the MSDS sheets and actually looking at what we know about various chemicals and their real hazards.
And.....just to complicate this.....we should be trying to put the numbers we find in perspective. Very often risks are stated in a way that sensationalizes the danger. Sometimes this is deliberate. Sometimes inadvertent. Putting the numbers in terms we can relate to would be helpful.
That should keep the good folks at AAW busy for the rest of February? <grin>
I don't need hard numbers. I've seen enough construction disasters to fill my plate.
Have a squint at the Lathe Safety Guidelines in your Resource Directories. Eye and face protection is near, or at, the top of the list from 2006 to 2009.
"Spare" or "extra" is a poor choice of words. Redundant, maybe, but not spare. Multi-engine aircraft are designed to be capable of flight on only one engine, but they work better with all components working. Same with us.
A few years ago both David Lancaster and Al Stirt recieved serious injuries in similar ways. Each injury would have been avoided with a face shield.
This was reported in the AAW journal.
in both cases a nearly finish piece came apart unexpectedly and struck the turner in the face. Safety glasses saved the eyes but not the severe injuries.
David was sanding a bowl, Al was taking a light finish cut and did not get a catch.
This may be anecdotal in the statistical sense, But two very experience turners recieve similar avoidable injuries should be enough evidence that wood cannot be trusted to behave.
Al Stirt does every demonstration with a face shield.
You can tell some people a hundred times to wear safety equipment and they still won't wear it. And as unconventional as it may seem, when you tell them that those parts are expendable or thatthey will grow back like a lizard's tail, it's interesting to see them start wearing protection every day.
In the long run it will be the insurance provider who mandates the use of safety equipment. In this case, I think it is the AAW's call, since they are extending insurance to these events. AAW states a perfect record with no claims. Let's keep it that way. I would not like to see my AAW dues double or quadruple to pay for insurance, due to a rash of easily preventable claims. It is now a rarity to see a high school wood shop program in California as this was the school boards' solution to injury lawsuits.
I agree. If somebody tells me that something is unsafe and explains, â€œhere's whyâ€, that is sufficient for me. If an explanation of the safety issue were not sufficient for someone, I would wonder how much more convincing staring at a pile of numbers on a sheet of paper would be. To me, the trendy term â€œhard numbersâ€ itself is somewhat nebulous and sometimes invoked when ignoring numbers already presented. Besides that, consider that when it comes to statistical data, by definition, numbers are not â€œhardâ€. And, the â€œrawâ€ indigestible data does not provide much food for thought. If someone wants to see numbers for the purpose of â€œplaying the oddsâ€, I guess that is their business, as disquieting as it may be.
I am not sure that â€œredundantâ€ is much better, but those comments were all made in jest anyway. (I think)
As a former pilot, one of the most well known sayings about multi-engine aircraft is: â€œIf one engine fails on a multi-engine aircraft, donâ€™t worry because there is always sufficient power in the remaining engine to get you to the scene of the accidentâ€.
Seriously though, the performance of a two engine aircraft has a much-reduced operating envelope and may not be sufficient to maintain level flight â€“ this is especially true near max weight and full fuel. The approach to landing (which I always considered to be an essential part of flight) is especially dangerous with one engine out and you can forget about making a go-around.
My best friend who is overweight was on a flight last week that lost an engine. I teased him by asking if the pilot asked him to move to the other side of the plane to compensate for the lost engine. Of course now I have to wait for what Randy is planning for me for that comment.
Is he Polish?
As president of the Cape Cod Woodturners I make myself the example when conducting Club demonstrations by always wearing a face shield.
I just have to remember to lower it *grin* The crowd reminds me.
A few years ago I decided to try one of the wire mesh shields sold by Garrett Wade.
I really like it. The plexiglass section is plenty big enough for clear vision. The overall size of the wire shield is sufficient to block any flying shavings on a pull cut. And it is so lightweight and comfortable that I don't notice that I am wearing it.
Best of all ****It won't fog up**** because you exhale through the wire mesh. That also means an audience can hear you speak clearly.
I cannot say weather it is ANSI rated or not.
For me, it is what I use both for demos and for home turning.
Everyone should wear some sort of face protection when turning and demonstrating.
If you are complacent when demonstrating then this will be broadcast to the people watching and they will think if John smith does not need to wear anything then I dont need to either.
Terry Scott is a fine example he was wearing his reading glasses and a peice came of the lathe and nearly took his eye out , it was not the glass but the frame that did the damage.
His club has now made it mandatory that everyone wears a mask or overglasses to protect them selves.
This is a habit everyone should get into as soon as they walk into a work shop.
You only have one pair of eyes the alternative is not very good.
I thought that I would resurrect this thread for one more idea. For anyone who demonstrates and also wants to wear a face shield, but has not found a suitable microphone, I think that I have a possible solution. When I was a pilot, I wore a headset (Telex, David Clark, Bose, etc.) with a boom mounted microphone. The microphone is an "electret" (variable capacitance) noise-canceling type that is noise cancelling and must be located fairly close to the lips (about one to two inches). Anyone who has flown in a helicopter or single-engine piston aircraft knows how high the noise level is in the cockpit. Without a communications system like this, it is almost impossible to talk to anyone else without shouting. The great thing about these noise canceling microphones is that voice clarity is excellent and ambient noise is reduced to a very low level. I no longer have a headset to checkout how well this would work, but I am sure that there must be a few woodturning pilots around.
These microphones are not compatible with the electrical interface used with the cheap crystal microphones or even the much better magnetic microphones that are typically used with a wireless transmitter so a different interface would be needed to supply a DC bias voltage to the electret mike.
along the line of what John said about the air bag if you keep getting enough safety people involed and you will be turning in a steel suit. I agree you need to ware safety glasses if not face shield. But please do not demand that. I know stuff happens but let it be up to the person that is doing the demo to deside where or not they need to use a face sheild, if you are throwing things off the lathe you need to see what you are doing wrong. I guess if you just have to demand something to protect us from ourselves demand safety glasses.
I couldn't agree more on this. Dangerous situations invariably are caused by beginners or those without enough experience to keep from having them. These are the folks who should be required to wear safety equipment (including the steel suit!) as well as having everyone else out of the way. Experienced turners can have accidents, but anyone demonstrating how to do something on a lathe had better really know how to do it, and safely!
I agree that lack of experience, common sense, not know whether they are doing something dangerous is certainly a problem. I think that there is also one other thing -- regardless of whether we are experienced and doing everything "right": hidden weaknesses in a piece of wood needs to be recognized as a potential cause of a mishap. Sometimes a piece of wood that looks perfectly sound can suddenly split and fly off the lathe. In most cases there is some warning such as a change in sound, but in a few instances the failure can occur quite suddenly.
I demonstrated this very thing at our club meeting last week. I gave a talk on safety and of course discusses using a face shield.
What I brought to show them was a small crotch piece that as I turned it there was a black line going through it. I explained that this was a small bark inclusion and could easily blow apart. I showed how the inclusion probably didn't go all the way through and you might be able to turn past it. Then I discussed slowing the lathe down, taking light cuts, and at all costs stay out of the line of fire should it explode. Wear a face shield when doing this of course.
You would be better off not turning a piece like this but it wasn't your normal thick bark type of crack, just a tiny one so I feel like it will be OK and I will turn it one of these evenings.
I can't speak for plexiglass, but I can say the answer is definitely "Yes!" for Polycarbonate.
I was turning tops at fair while wearing my $20.00 face sheild. I hadn't much turning experience at the time. After I'd made several tops, one flew of the lathe, most likly my fault, and hit me in the face "shield". If not for the face shield, the top would have broken my niose or maybe taken out an eye. At best it would have ruined my day. But instead, I simply thought, "Wow, that was 20 bucks well spent", picked up another piece of wood and started turning.
That lesson stayed with me. Although wood doesn't fly off the lathe at me much now, I always wear my $20.00 face shield when I turn. I assume it's not if, but when I'll need that face shield again.
P.S. From what I've read on this thread, I should also wear it when I sand.