mandatory use of face shields

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Art Deboo, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Roger Chandler

    Roger Chandler

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    Once you've been hit hard, it makes you think twice

    I have been hit 3 times with wood flying off the lathe. two times I had a bowl come off the cole jaws when finishing the bottom. One sailed across to the far wall of my shop and shattered into kindling. One other hit me square in the face shield, I was wearing, and then hit the floor and broke a chunk off the finished edge, ruining the bowl.

    The most dangerous one was I was turning a large piece of walnut, and a chunk of the tenon broke out, and the wood hit me hard square in the chest. That one stopped me for the rest of the day. I locked up the shop and went to the house.

    One can do everything right, and still the nature of the beast is that something can and at times does go wrong. Even though I have a face shield already, I just this week upgraded to a Sperian Bionic face shield. Got it from Amazon.com for $22.16 and boy it is really nice. The adjustments are of much higher quality than the AO safety version I own, and the frame around the lens is much sturdier, and it is just a much better unit.

    Had I not had on my face shield, who knows, I might be injured severly with loss of vision or something nearly as bad. Safety measures practiced consistently will always work, but failing to follow the rules may just get you into trouble, no matter how "experienced" you are. Stay safe everyone!
     
  2. steelguy

    steelguy

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    " I am experienced. I don't need no stinking safety gear"

    This thread is interesting in that many comments are consistent with my experience in the steel industry.

    I was working during the implementation of a number of mandatory, personal protective equipment rules which are commonplace today. Whether the rule was for steel toed shoes, shoes with metatarsal guards, safety glasses with side shields, hard hats, hearing protection, fire retardant clothing for steel pourers, leather sleeves for welders, etc. The complaints were often the same. Senior workers would always say “You gotta understand, I don’t need that because I know what I am doing.â€

    After listening to 37 years of weekly accident/near miss reports and investigations, you come to the realization that the new hires are often the safest. They are very aware of their environment and are paying really close attention. Senior employees tend to have a lot on their minds and take for granted that their skill level will get them through anything, and they get lazy on the fundamentals.

    Not a single person, who has an accident, ever got out of bed that morning planning on having an accident. That is why consistent, habitual use of personal protective gear in your shop is a must. Also, following basic, smart turning fundamentals is necessary. On other threads, you will hear about spindle turning speeds being used on large bowls; or card scrapers being used inside bowls. There are more reasons than out of balance blanks and extreme vibration to watch your rpms. Remember that at 1000 rpm, the rim speed on a 12†bowl is 36 mph. At 2000 rpm, it is 71 mph. And for those who always “stay out of the way†– remember that a broken, or exploding blank is not a rifle – it is a shot gun.

    Complete every turning task, every time, with the same care that you would want your child or grandchild to exhibit. When we are preoccupied, casual, tired, in a hurry, or not thinking about things, we exhibit no more experience than a beginner.

    Wear your gear, think about every step, watch your speeds – be safe and turning will always be fun.

    Jerry
     
  3. rjones

    rjones

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    I do not have a problem with being safe and takeing pecautions, but I guess it is just the thought of it being Mandatory.
     
  4. steelguy

    steelguy

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    Face Shield USe

    Understood. Only you can make it mandatory in your own shop. Demonstrating under someone else's insurance, and someone else's liability is where rules always get made. Most safety rules in industry are implemented and/or enforced due to either OSHA or the facility's insurance carriers. However, just like the seat belt and cycle helmet laws - they make do sense not only related to personal safety, but also when your own injury is on someone else's dime.

    Jerry
     
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly with everything that you have said, Jerry. I spent my career in a manufacturing environment. Your observations about human nature are spot on. As an engineer, whenever I entered the manufacturing floor, I had to make sure that I was wearing all of the same safety gear that was required of the workers in the area. I also had the same safety training and certifications. The company that I worked for had a special way to encourage the whiners who were too smart to have an accident: they could try to find employment elsewhere for a company that wasn't interested in industrial safety.
     
  6. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Darn Jerry, I though I had sights on my bowls and they always hit what they aim at.
     
  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    A Few Safety Lessons

    Somewhat in keeping with the subject, here is one of my early lessons in using a faceshield:

    Fresh green live oak is a pleasure to turn and it taught me the importance of using a faceshield because when it dries, it gets as hard as the steel in my turning tools. That is the point where my troubles started. On the positive side, I would like to mention that the wood from the lower stump of the live oak, when dry, is virtually unbreakable. That can be a handy feature when it is bouncing all over the shop like the ball in a pinball machine. The first live oak bowl that I turned needed a bit of touch up to take care of some warping that occurred as it dried. The warping included the tenon becoming slightly egg shaped, but what the heck -- just stick it in the chuck as is and go to work on the final shaping.

    So here we are at safety lesson #1
    Make sure that the tenon is round before sticking it in a scroll chuck. Also make certain that the register surface that the top of the jaws rest against is not warped. A bowl that rocks in the chuck is not a good thing.

    The dry bowl was relatively thin and light, but without a solid enough connection between the tenon and chuck, it can and, in this case, did have a tendency to wiggle under the pressure of a dull tool trying to force a cut. If you see a design opportunity beginning to unfold, you are on the right track.

    I recall the WHACK sound and noticed that the bowl was not in the chuck, but since I was busy looking for a place to hide rather than watching the entire show to its conclusion, I didn't get to see all the places that the bowl visited in the shop, bit it seemed to rattle around the shop for quite a long while. Its first encounter was a slight glancing blow off of my face shield. The deep scratch in the face shield is hardly worth mentioning as I am fairly confident that I would still have the majority of my natural teeth if I had not been wearing the face shield. Once I finally found where it had come to rest in the shop, and seeing that it was still intact, I was ready to continue on.

    Hence, lesson #2:
    A face shield isn't really necessary until a high-speed unguided missile is hurtling towards your face. My reflexes, not being what they used to be, are not quite up to grabbing for a face shield on such short notice so I am probably better off wearing one whenever I am not feeling invincible.

    Surprisingly, the only damage to the bowl was a small skate mark from the tool, so I was good to go to remount it and continue turning and incorporating my design change. Well, it flew off the chuck right away without even waiting for me to touch a tool to it so I shut down the shop to ponder why this no good chuck can't seem to hold a piece of wood.

    This leads to safety lesson #3:
    When your head is harder than the wood that you are turning, then it time to stop. Jumping to conclusions is no way to solve a problem. Odds are ... the chuck is not the problem.

    Dry live oak is hard -- perhaps even as hard as my head. There is probably a reason that it was used in old wooden sailing ships. Tools dull quickly when cutting very hard wood. Trying to compensate by forcing them to cut after they are clearly dull is more than just an invitation for disaster.

    I feel that the most important thing that I learned from this beginner experience is that turning and safety are not two disconnected entities that are treated separately. A face shield can help, but I can't let it be a crutch to compensate for neglecting areas such as sharp tools, proper tool control, stance, chucking, and speed. These things all add up to make me a safer turner. Paying proper attention to those important areas will help keep my face shield from getting beat up by flying wooden missiles. While doubtlessly, my turning skills and practices have reached pure perfection, just in the off chance that I am mistaken, I have decided to continue using face protection. :D :eek:
     
  8. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I think mandatory in classes and encouraged in demonstrations.

    turning is much safer without a face shield than say
    motorcycling without a helmet
    driving without seatbelts
    cell phoning while driving

    I think seat belts have recently become required in all states.
    but I can choose to text helmet-less while riding a motorcyle ......
    is that a freedom or what!
    Now if we could fit a mini on the handlebars it don't think any state has a law against turning while motorcycling
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  9. Joe Greiner

    Joe Greiner

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  10. squirrel

    squirrel

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    brain damage - personal experience

    Hello,

    I am always surprised when I read about protection by face shields. IF there is real damage - severe handicaps - it is mostly because there was no helmet worn by the woodturner.

    This is my story:
    25 march 2008 I got an accident: a piece of oak (10 cm depth and 40 cm wide) flew of the lathe at relatively high speed, in my face and all over the workshop.
    The face shiels was completely broken and happily I wore it because it saved my eye.
    But ... the shock was so heavy that it kicked me over the table and I fell on the ground, the back of my head kicked the floor.
    I lost consciousness and wake up in the intensive care of the hospital.

    Recovery went very very slowly.
    Now after about two years I can tell you that:
    - the accident affected physically my whole body: I became all at once
    physically 15 years older
    - I can talk very well but real reasoning takes me a lto of effort
    - when they give me money back in the shop, I dont know how much they
    are giving me
    - I must concentrate my mind very well if I want to spend a couple of hours in places crowded with people . If I don't I start sweating and panicking because I have the feeling that I loose control
    - the same happens when somebody is talking fast to me - It feels as if I cannot control the world - it become incomprhensible
    - I have a loss of memory. If I need to find something in another place I have to repeat all the time to myself: go and get that ... go and get that .... go and get that .... till I have found the stuff
    - After an intense meeting my brains are very tired and I have to go to bed ans sleep for at least two hours.
    - When I am able to work very well for three days ... be sure I cannot work well the next 4 days: too tired.
    - I lost a lot of knowledge, all kinds of knowledge also knowledge of languages by example my french was almost perfect but not anymore now: I lost knowledge of grammar and words

    So, these are the main points I think.
    Conclusion: I still can work at the condition that I am all alone and concentrated as a monk but I cannot work at a normal speed and I cannot work as much as I want to work.

    Did I take risks? No I did not. The main point why the accident happened was: ignorance.

    When I started woodturning 15 years ago sometimes I did stupid things by purpose. The more I learned about woodwork and woodturning the more I was conscious about possible dangers and the more I started to be carefull.
    But you cannot be carefull for things that you do not know, which is not yet a part of your experience.

    So my advice is: learn about safety but wear your protection for all the things that can happen and from which you are not aware that they can happen!

    And: wear a helmet - of course this things do not happen often - but they happen ! I was in a clinic with all similar cases as I am and I learned that often the real damage - more general than loosing an eye - even with death as a consequence - comes from the damage at the back of the head.
    I know (stories told to me after the accident) of two woodturners - both dead - because of this kind of injuries.

    Shops don't provide here helmets with safetyshield. I told them to sell it but they still don't do it. I composed my own helmet with faceshield.
    It IS not nice to wear it - dust on the shield all the time but I'll always wear it.
    Hope this story may help to convince some people.

    Best regards - squirrel
     
  11. Robert Manning

    Robert Manning member

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    Maybe it's time to make a woodturning safety video with a 'crash test dummy' in real time and slow motion, with and without a face shield.
     
  12. Roger Chandler

    Roger Chandler

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    r.e. crash test dummy

    Robert,

    What a great idea! If someone had a good camera and the means to get a manequin or test dummy, that could be put on YouTube and would become one of the most viewed videos related to wood turning.

    The test could be done with face shield and without. With a heavy blank and with a smaller blank. Maybe the message could "hit" home, [pun intended] :)
     
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for sharing your story. I think that you summarized things very well by saying that things like your experience do not happen very often, but they do happen.

    Within the past few months, a couple experienced woodturners who I know have had very serious injuries. Before that, one of our members who had been turning for very many years lost an eye.

    Personally, I feel that a face shield should be considered as the bare minimum amount of protection. It is not an impenetrable barrier that is able to make someone invincible. It helps to reduce the force of an impact by absorbing some of the energy. If someone gets a head injury from a flying piece of wood while wearing a face shield, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the injury would have been far worse if not wearing a face shield.

    I use a helmet type powered respirator although my main reason for the helmet was for respiratory protection. There is always the possibility as you mentioned of a blow to the head that a simple face shield would not help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  14. ray hampton

    ray hampton

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    I see one small problem using a test dummy to film a movie of this type--who will do the turning ? how about using a plastic shield with two holes for your hands so that you can still do the turning, be sure to install a gauge to show the force behind the object that fly from the lathe and hit the shield/ a second solution is to buy-rent a robot to do the turning
     
  15. Roger Chandler

    Roger Chandler

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    I missed the obvious!

    Ray,
    what you noted is not a small problem, because as you correctly state, a test dummy cannot turn, but I guess the real dummies do, and they bleed when hit!:D
     
  16. Robert Manning

    Robert Manning member

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    Woodturners are a resourceful lot. I would think that a woodturning safety film would be the kind of thing that would be produced by a woodturning publication with the help of a shield manufacturer. It could also be the genisis for a new safety shield specific to woodturning. I think Squirrel has some valuable information to provide to the producer and perhaps inventor of such a film and shield. A remote controlled servo motor could provide the motion required to induce the catch. Until this research is done, I think, perhaps, we're all 'crash test dummies'.
     
  17. john lucas

    john lucas

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    You guys don't watch enough Myth Busters. You just calculate the speed that the wood leaves the lathe. Then you make a wood firing canon and blast the dummy. We had one of those at work for a while. They were testing a new material for walls that would stop a 2x4 tossed by a tornado. This thing fired an 8 foot 2x4 at high velocity toward the wall and they filmed the results. It was really fun photographing that.
     
  18. Roger Chandler

    Roger Chandler

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    "we're all crash test dummies"

    Robert,

    I think you may have stated the most salient point in this thread. I agree that this could be done, and perhaps a manufacturer of safety equipment could come up with a new design that would be affordable for most turners. It would truly be a great service and would make the bottom line rise in profits, most likely.

    I just last week upgraded to the Sperian bionic S8500, and in my opinion it is a good deal better than the A0 Safety shield that I was using. I have found that it sits farther from my face, and the increased air circulation around my face helps prevent my glasses from fogging up so much.

    I think also that [at least in my case] turners need to inspect their wood a little closer as to notice when there is potentially unstable issue where chunks could come off, especially the tenon area. Self taught turners seem to learn by discovery, and don't always get the picture until they hear other turners speak of their own mishaps. :eek:
     
  19. ray hampton

    ray hampton

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    I guess that I am more lucky than most people because I bleed when a feather hits me, I do not want to get hit by wood unless it is in the form of sawdust
     
  20. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    That sounds a little like the tests on aircraft windscreens and canopies that we did in the aerospace industry. As one might suspect, bird strikes are a very serious threat to aviation, both when ingested into the intake of an engine and when they strike the windscreen of a jet at high speed. Since military aircraft often perform "nape of the earth" flying in hostile territory, this is an even greater concern than usual. Also recall the recent event in which an airliner successfully made a forced water landing after multiple bird strikes rendered all engines inoperable. The rocket powered sled test facility was at Holloman AFB, NM. Cockpit and canopy mock-ups were mounted on the sled and the "birds" were thawed out grocery store chickens that were stuffed into a launcher that lobbed them into the path of the oncoming jet on the rocket sled. Although you are not too likely to encounter a chicken flying around, they are reasonable facsimiles of buzzards and other large birds which are a very real safety hazard. High speed telemetry cameras would record the impact at 5,000 frames per second.
     

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