Safety session at the 2012 AAW Symposium

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by hockenbery, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I am associated with planning a session on safety for the 2012 AAW Symposium in San Jose which we began last June in St Paul.
    IThere has been a lot of meaningful and heartfelt posts on safety in forum this week.

    It seems to me safety falls into two categories
    Processes and protective

    Process is doing things in manner that minimizes risk. Making proper cuts on well mounted work is less risky than making catches on work held with a sloppy chuck tenon.

    Protective is the face shield and helmet to mitigate harm when the catch pulls the piece out of the chuck or when the wood comes apart from an annunciation seen defect.

    If you have ideas for key points and scope to cover you can share them here or by email

    Al@woodturner.org.

    Thanks,
    Al
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  2. John Lawson

    John Lawson

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    Don’t forget environmentals also: Dust masks, dust collection, awareness of allergens in some woods, poisonous fumes from finishes.
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I think that would be part of protective, but I do like the thought about fumes and VOCs that we often don't consider when thinking about safety.
     
  4. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    I believe it was in Richmond where they had a rotation on safety and the room had like a hundred chairs, myself and three other people attended. I think that the AAW could better serve its members by putting together a comprehensive safety presentation like Power Point that could be given to the various clubs that would fill in a meeting. Clubs are always looking for meeting material and this would be a way to get maximum coverage on the safety subject.
    Bill
     
  5. Gynia

    Gynia

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    The AAW is committed to educating it's members on the dangers of the woodturning activity. They need to have rotations at the symposium for safety. They need to encourage big names to host these safety rotations. A panel with Jack V., Michel H., Molly W., Stewart M., should draw a fair sized crowd and insure the rotation was talked about.

    I mention Stewart M. because I saw him at a rotation in RI where he operated a full sized Arbortech grinder with one hand on the grinder and one hand on the lathe hand wheel as he roughed in the spirals of his open spiral hollow form. Stewart does some seemingly dangerous things with a good deal of confidence.

    Finding a way to make safety sexy is a challenge. Perhaps launching spinning hunks of wood as visual aids would help. Asking plastic surgeons talk about reconstructive surgery might add interest.
     
  6. George Clark

    George Clark

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    Practice what you preach. Require all demonstrators to follow your safety rules. Students are much more likely to do what they're shown rather than what they're told. Stop presenting a mixed message. If you are really serious about promoting safety, then "I'm only doing this to clarify the demo" or "the mic works better without the face shield for the demo" are simply unacceptable excuses. All safety equipment causes a restriction of some sort. Get used to it.

    In NASCAR, the death of the man who refused to wear a full face helmet, because it restricted his vision, did more to promote the proper use of safety equipment and safety innovation than any other single event. I hope we don't have to kill one of the "big guys" in woodtuning to get demonstrators to use face shields, although I personally suspect it may have happened already.

    George.
     
  7. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    There are a lot of turning practices that I use that would be dangerous for a beginner, but not for a pro. I do use the phrase "Professional driver on closed course. DO NOT ATTEMPT" fairly often. I do like to use variable speed to turn the lathe way down and show catches in slow motion. There are so many variables, so many tools, so many situations, it is difficult to prepare for all the eventualities.

    robo hippy
     
  8. George Clark

    George Clark

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    If I'm not supposed to do it, why are you wasting my time showing me how?

    George
     
  9. Keith T.

    Keith T.

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    bandsaw safety

    HI Al, I would be willing to give a demonstration on bandsaw safety, if you feel it would be feasible. My article on bandsaw safety in the recent issue of the AAW magazine was well received, and would benefit many turners both new and seasoned. I have not yet applied to demonstrate in 2012, but would gladly do so if encouraged. Any thoughts by fellow members would be appreciated.
     
  10. Keith T.

    Keith T.

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    George, I strongly believe that if someone is struck with a piece of wood with enough force to kill them, a faceshield isn't going to do a thing to prevent it. A helmet with a facial cage might. I have researched the industry specs for impact resistance; they don't test for damage caused by a fifty pound projectile; they are designed primarily for eye protection from small flying pieces of debris. Thinking a faceshield with prevent catastrophic injury is a false sense of security...the piece of wood must be prevented from contacting the operator in the first place.
     
  11. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Gynia,
    The point is to show what "can" be done. A point I emphasize is that most people will never turn like I do, specifically at high speeds, and hogging off a lot of material in a hurry. The techniques are the same, no matter how you turn. I do slow it down and explain what I do, and why I do it.

    robo hippy
     
  12. jschnell1203

    jschnell1203

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    I've send Al what I put together as a starting point to talk about general shop safety and also include the AAW Woodturning Safety guidelines. I think some videos would also be a good start.
     
  13. Dick Sowa

    Dick Sowa

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    Most all "safety" discussions deal with the physical hazards associated with turning...flying pieces, dust, fires in the shavings, whatever. Rarely do we hear about subtle hazards that involve what happens before or after a vessel is turned. In other words, what the solvents in that finish we are using might do to our skin or lungs. Similarly, when we buff a finished vessel, we might not pay attention to what gets airborne. Similarly, the hazards before the blank is mounted on the lathe are seldom discussed. ex: chain saw safety.

    The bottom line, is that safety considerations are essential from the selection of the raw stock, all the way to when the finished piece goes in the house for display. Everywhere along the way there are safety considerations that need to be considered.
     
  14. George Clark

    George Clark

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    I guess you're telling me not to bother with a face shield because if that chunk of wood hits me hard enough it will kill me anyway.:confused: Makes sense to me, not.

    Did I say anything about thinking a face shield would prevent catastrophic injury? One thing I can say with certainty is, not wearing one will not prevent anything. Given that you are going to be struck in the face with a flying piece of wood, would you prefer it to be with or without a face shield?

    My point is that in many of the demos I have watched by the "Professional Turner" they merely give lip service to safe practices and then demonstrate using unsafe practices because "they know how to turn." Every time Mr. Pro does his demo without a face shield it tells Mr. Pro wannabee that wearing one really isn't necessary.

    George
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  15. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Armor up before you step up. It's not danger from going without the breastplate (a precordial thump can stop as well as start a heart) or the faceshield, which is designed to deflect shavings, not bowls, or even males failing to wear a cup that troubles me. It's turning at high rpm. Strange that this has not been mentioned save by the Hippy. It makes everything else more dangerous.

    No, I do not wear a vision-distorting motion-limiting face shield. I also don't wear a tight collar, because the way I cut doesn't send shavings that way. Proper placement of myself and the toolrest kept even the dismounts I experienced with the Masterchuck far from hitting me. The safety mantra I follow is in my sig line.

    We had a lot of wired guarded switches in the aircraft. Switches that were never touched during normal procedures. Mechanical prevention. Never believed it was superior to procedural protection.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  16. Gynia

    Gynia

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    Given that you are not going to be struck in the face with a flying piece of wood, would you prefer to be with or without a face shield?

    There is no given that a wood turner will be struck in the face with an errant hunk of wood. There are ways to significantly reduce the opportunity of being struck in the face or face shield.

    If you are struck in the face shield with a flying piece of wood then you should make a change in the way you are turning wood.

    I do not believe that "Mr. Pro wannabee" is so careless as to hand over his (or her) safety to someone else. "Mr. Pro wannabee" is not so dumb as to think that they can safely turn wood the same way as "Mr. Pro".

    Given your logic, the only folks who should be doing demos are newbies so the folks viewing will not be tempted to turn in a way which is beyond their skill or experience level.

    When I watch a demo I want to see the possibilities. I will or will not try out those possibilities depending on how well I feel I can execute. The demonstrator not wearing a face shield is going to have ZERO impact on my choice to wear or not wear a face shield. I have to think that the other folks watching the demo are likewise unfazed by the face shield the demonstrator may or may not be wearing. Ask yourself if your choice to wear or not wear a face shield is affected by the demonstrator. Why can't the other folks watching the demo be likewise unaffected?

    We are not children who need to be "protected" from watching what may be unsafe practices.
     
  17. Keith T.

    Keith T.

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    George, please re-read your own statement. "I hope we don't have to kill one of the "big guys" in woodturning".....implies the face shield would prevent someone from being killed. I don't appreciate you twisting my words; I didn't say NOT to wear a face shield, I said trusting it to prevent being killed is a false sense of security. In fact, I suggested wearing a helmet with a guard would be a better idea. These ideas MAY help prevent you from being killed: 1. On a big, out of balance piece, use a faceplate with appropriate screws, rather than a chuck. For extra security, draw up the tailstock while roughing. 2. Keep the toolrest as close to the piece as possible. 3. Don't turn close to the end of the toolrest..keep your tool over the post as much as possible. A big catch when roughing CAN snap off your toolrest. 3. If using a chuck, ensure the shoulder of the tenon fits squarely against the jaws. 4. Most importantly, turn your speed down BEFORE starting the lathe. (I know of two people who were nearly killed by not checking this...one was wearing his facemask.)5. Keep your tools properly sharpened.
    These are just a few suggestions to help prevent getting yourself killed...the facemask is a poor substitute for any of them.
     
  18. Steven Antonucci

    Steven Antonucci

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    Wet Paint signs...

    Safety is a lot like a wet paint sign. You can put up all the signs you want, but some folks will still have to get paint on their hands to find out that the sign was right.

    I believe that safety is a personal choice that each individual must decide for themselves. If you are worried about face shields vs. safety glasses, you probably really need to learn how to cut and where to stand more than relying on a thin piece of plastic to save your face. I am not suggesting that other turners shouldn't wear one, but it is a false sense of security.

    The biggest issue with safety in the field today is that woodturners can jump in with $10,000 to buy that big lathe and put 100 pounds of wood on it with no idea what they are doing. (Feel free to adjust the numbers). I've met people who have been turning for 30 years, and still scare the heck out of me. There has always been a perception that "longevity+lathe=expertise".

    The problem is getting worse. All kinds of people are uploading videos of their "skills" to various websites, and their expertise becomes validated because they have the big lathe and eventually show something that was sanded to fix all of their cutting mistakes.

    The AAW needs to consider the behavioural aspects of change management. You cannot simply tell 80% of membership that they work unsafely, even if it is completely true. In my experience, someone with lathe+longevity has to be passively shown that their working methods are atrocious, and then you need to let them come to you to fix it. New turners also need to be "slowed down" from wanting to "make a bowl" to learning how to make a bowl safely with minimal risk.

    It's not something that can be legislated, but it does require a change management leader who goes out and creates local leaders in the chapters. Those local soldiers win hearts and minds, one at a time, until there is true change.

    Steve

    P.S. What is safe for me to do, may not be safe for you to do...compounding the problem.
     
  19. Robin Thompson

    Robin Thompson

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    Websters dictionary has several definitions for an accident. The one I (try) to work with in mind is basically this. An accident is an event or circumstance that is unplanned and/or unexpected. I have learned the hard way to expect the unexpected. For example, a cut over and under my eye was earned when a turning rotating at 1100 rpm blew apart because of a catch and struck me in the face. Did I expect that to happen? NO! I now wear the face mask even though it is uncomfortable and distorts the vision. No turning is worth an eye. This accident could have been prevented as the root cause was human error. I dare say we are all human and errors happen. You can expect that.
     
  20. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    From Will Rogers:
    "There are 3 kinds of men in this world. Those that learn by observation, the few that learn by reading, and the rest that have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

    From a niece of mine about one of her sons, "Some of them have to pee on the electric fence a lot of times.

    Unknown: You can not invent some thing that is idiot proof. If you do, then some one will invent a better idiot.

    I try to emphasize what can go wrong, why it goes wrong, and how to correct it. What else can you do?

    robo hippy
     

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