Safety session at the 2012 AAW Symposium

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

  1. George Clark

    George Clark

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    Kieth, I think there is room for debate as to who is distorting who's words. I resent your comments that imply that because I suggested that the number one rule from the AAW's safety guidelines:

    "1. Always wear safety goggles or safety glasses that include side protectors. Use a full faceshield for bowl, vessel or any turning involving chucks and faceplates."

    be enforced at AAW events, that I'm some sort of a heritic that that needs to be chastised by you and your superior knowledge of safety practices and that all I have is a false sense of security. I strongly agree with all 5 of the items on your list. However, your last statement shows, for me, the stupidity of your position and your desire to destort my position. Who the h@## said anything substituting the face mask for anything? Another one of your ludicris assertions so you can again create an arguement where none existed to point out your superior knowledge.

    If I agree that you are far more right and knowledgeable than I, and that my concept of following the AAW's safety guidelines is foolish and trite next the the vast mountain of knowledge that you posess on safety, can we both be correct, or do we need to petition the AAW to drop Item 1 of their safety guidelines?

    George
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  2. George Clark

    George Clark

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    I am simply amazed at the tone and quantity of feedback I have received for suggesting the AAW follow their own safety guidelines at their events. :confused:

    Perhaps the Safety Committee (if there is one) could publish a new set of safety guidelines for demonstrators and those who really know how turn. Following that they could create some guidelines for testing so members would know when to transition from the "dumb turner safety guidelines" to the "really know how to turn safety guidelines." What a concept! The potential here is endless. For drivers who really know how drive there is the air bag, seat belt and shoulder harness deactivation kit. We could eliminate PFDs from the boats of those who really know how to swim. It goes on and on. :D:D:D
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Hi Keith,
    I thought the Band saw article was on the mark. Of the folks I know well who required a hospital visit. Band saw injuries are way above half.
    Regarding face shields. I know one injury that most likely would not have included the hospital if a face shield were worn. I also know I would have had a serious injury had I not been wearing a face sheild.

    I have an airmate helmet that is OSHA approved as hard hat.

    I agree with you that a full impact from a large block may cause severe trauma, concussion, or death even with the OSHA approved hard hat.

    A seat belt and airbag won't prevent death in every auto accident.
    A face shield can't be expected to prevent death or serious injury in all cases. Wearing a face shield doesn't entitle us to disregard other safety guidelines.
    wearing a face shield can prevent many injuries.

    A face shield doesn't make us invincible. I think we agree in general.

    thanks
    Al
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Jeff,
    Thanks for sending those documents.

    regards,
    Al
     
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The comment about high RPM is a very good point. The kinetic energy in a piece of wood (the amount of energy that would be transferred to your body when it strikes) is proportional to the square of the velocity whether linear velocity or rotational velocity. In more basic terms, doubling the velocity will quadruple the kinetic energy. If that is hard to visualize, another way of visualizing this is it would be equivalent to the effect of being hit by a piece of wood at the original slower velocity compared to being hit by a piece of wood with four times the mass at that same velocity.

    I turn slow, but I also am concerned about shots caroming off the headstock, tailstock, bed, or toolrest and changing direction of its trajectory. I also am bothered considerably by wood dust so I take care of both issues by wearing an Airstream powered respirator.

    Because of turbulence or extremely high-g maneuvers, switches in military aircraft may be guarded or pull-to-unlatch toggles. Panels usually have a very high density of knobs and switches and flight gloves could cause unintended bumping of a switch. I think that safety wired guards on switches are generally there for ground maintenance and are located in equipment bays in the aircraft that I am familiar with. Not saying that some aircraft don't use them inside the cockpit.
     
  6. AlanZ

    AlanZ

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    Bill,

    I agree that flying objects and the trajectory of those object and the things they interact with, shatter and ricochet off of is a real concern.

    I admire those who think they can simply stay out of the line of fire. They must have a better grasp of physics that I do. Much like motorcyclists who don't wear their protective gear because "I'm just going to the store". They seem to be able to predict when they are not going to get into an accident.

    I can't think of ways of staying out of the line of shattering overhead lights (and yes, my flourescent tubes are encased in plastic tubes) and all of the other pointy things that could come at my face during an unanticipated launch.

    When at the lathe, Lauren and I each wear protective gear (powered respirator helmet). This setup is very comfortable and actually lets me see *better* because it doesn't fog up and I'm not squinting in anticipation of things flying at me.

    Not surprisingly, when I ride a motorcycle, I'm in full armored gear including a conspicuity vest, all the time. It's called ATGATT (all the gear, all the time).

    There are ways to be mitigate much of the risk. Procedures are a big part of it, but personal protective gear, AND the desire/discipline to use it can minimize or eliminate injury when the unexpected happens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  7. Steven Antonucci

    Steven Antonucci

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    I suppose that the question is what is the AAW's current level of effort around educating new turners to get them into the hobby? What is the continuing education plan for "experienced turners"?

    I know in my own area, there are guys that I will not do field work with because they don't have the slightest clue about how to operate a chainsaw. I also know a bunch of people who I stay far away from when they are on the lathe. How do you fix a problem when the people that have it don't recognize that they have a problem?

    It's really quite simple.

    If the AAW wants to promote "best practices" at their events, make it a requirement that any demonstrator must wear a face shield/googles/motorcycle helmet/whatever OR THEY WILL NOT BE PAID. Monitor it and enforce it. You will see behavior change.

    Of course, there will be some pushback from the folks that don't want to change, and perhaps there will be a need to equip AV a little bit better, but the end result is that people will see safety principles being enforced. People usually only change in response to pain.

    You can't legislate compliance, but you can penalize non-compliance.

    S
     
  8. AlanZ

    AlanZ

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    I think Steve has just summed it up very well.
     
  9. George Clark

    George Clark

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    Wow. A couple of allies. Thanks Steven and AllanZ. :D

    I agree with your comments.

    George
     
  10. Barbara Gill

    Barbara Gill

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    What I don't get is how someone could not recognize the inherent danger in woodturning. We all have exposed to a little physics in our lifetime. In spite of that people constantly do stupid things that put them in harms way. How much sense does it take to realize if you stick your fingers between the tool rest and a piece of spinning wood, bad things can happen.

    You can't do anything about stupid. All of us at one time or the other have done dangerous, stupid things at the lathe. I can't imagine us not knowing the act was dangerous, but we do it anyway.

    Just look at the manuals that come with power tools. They are dumbed down to the point of ludicrous. We all make fun of them. How can we not know that if you put your fingers in the way of a bandsaw blade, you might loose them?

    I agree that people who demonstrate should use proper safety practices. Going to the time and expense of creating videos, discussions, etc. to make people aware of the obvious seems counter productive.

    My comments are directed at adults. Children are another matter. They can't be exposed to too much safety information.


    As Pooh said, "Think, think, think."
     
  11. Steven Antonucci

    Steven Antonucci

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    Organizations make policy decisions all of the time. I don't want to confuse the rights of the individual with the policies that an organization mandates. What you do in you own shop is your own responsibility. What you do as a paid presenter can be entirely different than your personal viewpoint.

    I frequently turn with out a faceshield or goggle, fully understanding the risk I incur. I have an intimate knowledge of the material, the equipment, and the physics and accept that risk. When I demonstrate, I sometimes wear a pair of goggles just so I don't have to answer the question. I always make sure that the line of fire is clear to protect my audience, who may not be wearing faceshields and have an equal risk to me.

    The goal should be education first, with an understanding that ability evolves over time. Risk should go down as skill goes up. Woodturning is not inherently risky. Woodturning with low skill is.
     
  12. George Clark

    George Clark

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    Are your eyes so good that you can spot that hidden flaw that may weaken your piece and and allow it to explode? Are your nerves so steely that when an airline explodes on the other side of the shop that there is no chance that you might jump and cause a catch. Does your family sign off on your practices and accept the risk as you do? Do you have sufficient assets to protect the taxpayers when you kill yourself because you, in your professional wisdom, chose to accept unnecessary risk, because you know to turn, and your family is now without a breadwinner?

    No matter how hard you try, it is really difficult to make a valid arguement for unsafe practices based on "I know how to turn" or "I am a professional" that will stand the light of day.

    On the other hand, there are some things you just can't fix.

    George
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  13. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Well I concur with Steve even though I know we aren't going to win an argument with George. I almost didn't respond because it will simply prolong the argument.
    I hate face shields. I've tried them numerous times and currently own 3. They are in my opinion simply irritating. I know I should wear one but I've been turning for an awful long time without. My projects are mostly small and not dangerous enough to warrant the irritation of a face shield. Sorry I feel that way but I do and will take the risks accordingly.
    I will put one on when roughing really nasty wood because the irritation is offset by the risk. I've been turning for long long time and think I understand the risks.
    The same is true when I demonstrate. My projects are chosen with my safety in mine as well as the crowd. I find it very hard to communicate adequately with the face shield on. I'm constantly flipping it up and back down and for what, so the Christmas ornament won't kill me. Common let's have a little common sense.
     
  14. Philip Streeting

    Philip Streeting

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    Proir knowledge

    Is it right to assume that all members of an audience at a demo or participants in an instruction session have the same level of prior learning or apreciation of the subject being demonstrated?

    Are we all programmed with the same version of common sense and when was it last updated?

    We are in an age were few under the age 35 (in the UK) have any kind of practical workshop skills training or hands on experience of tools and equipment under expert guidence at school. Where does this common sense and appreciation of tool and machinery safety come from now in this age grouping?

    Is woodturning taught in schools and colleges elsewhere in the world in a structured way?

    Do we mostly use experiential learning now based on what we see done by others and the way they do it or appear to us to be doing?

    Phil
     
  15. Steven Antonucci

    Steven Antonucci

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    There have been many academic arguments about whether or not faceshields should or shouldn't be required. I am merely trying to explain HOW you can change behavior within the organization. If people are no longer allowed to demonstrate without a faceshield, the behavior will change.

    As far as the rest of your rhetoric goes, um... yeah. For the most part, I do. I turn a lot of spalted, punky, buggy, included pieces. When stuff happens, I am nowhere near the stuff. I always check my speeds and make sure I am out of the line of fire.

    The one time I was turning a platter, it split in two and sent one half richoceting of of my mask and the other half straight up into my ceiling. Being stuck hard in the face with a mask hurts a lot. I no longer stand in the line of fire.

    You have to realize that symposiums and demonstrations NEED to be viewed as entertainment, not instruction. Lots of people confused the two things. If I went to a motorcycle rally and watched people doing wheelies and jumps, I wouldn't think that was enough for me to go try it. I may aspire to do it someday, but I would be smart enough to not try it.

    Woodturning demos are not classes. When I teach, my students wear faceshields. I try to at least wear glasses, and a faceshield whenever I can, but it isn't always practical. I repeatedly discuss why they should wear a mask, and more important, understand the line of fire.

    Next time you are at a demo, see how many folks are in the front row behind the lathe and ask them why they aren't wearing safety gear...
     
  16. Gynia

    Gynia

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    Do we like watching slide shows or watching a bunch of woodturners talk about woodburning. Or do we like watching shavings fly and demonstrators DOING something.

    I suspect that if face shields are required then the folks doing demos will be different than the folks we see doing demos now. The more rules and restrictions which are placed on a demonstrator the fewer demonstrators we will have. I think the woodturning community has more than enough folks willing and eager to do demonstrations. I think that the woodturning community has more than enough demonstrators who would be willing to wear a face shield.

    I have seen over 100 demonstrations. 3 of those demonstrators wore face shields. 2 of those efforts were failed. The one demonstrator who was successful at doing a demo while wearing a face shield happen to be doing a demo I didn't care for (there have been at least 20 demos I didn't care for). I have to wonder how many of those demos would have never happened if a face shield was required. I also wonder how all these demonstrators have survived their long carriers of woodturning without wearing a face shield. Could it be that all this hoopla about face shields has more to do with control than it does with safety?
     
  17. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Gynia That's what I wanted to say but wimped out. thanks
     
  18. George Clark

    George Clark

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    Gentlemen,

    As John indicated the arguement has probably gone on long enough. It all started after Al Hockenberry proposed his safety session at the 2012 convention. My thought was (and is) that the movers and shakers of this organization are quite hypocritical when it comes to safety. On the one hand they have produced and endorsed this official AAW list of turning safety rules but yet they neither obey nor enforce the very first rule on the list at their own functions. That's what I call really setting an example. Additionally, they have become absolute masters at espousing bovine excrement about why the rules don't apply to them, the professional, because they know how to turn. My feeling is either enforce the rule or change it.

    At least one turner has died this year from being struck in the head by an exploding piece of work. By all accounts, that I could find, she was a professional and safety conscious turner but something certainly went terribly wrong. I don't know if she was wearing a face shield or not, nor whether one would have lessened her injury. To those of you who, in your infinite wisdom, are sure it would have made no difference, I say, it certainly would have done no harm. In my mind what might make a fatal accident survivable could be quite small and thus spreading the blow over a larger area might offered some hope. We'll never know.

    At the very least can we stop hiding behind, "I'm a professional, I know how to turn" and admit that we don' t wear a face shield because we don't like it, we find it uncomfortable, it restricts our vision, etc, etc, etc. and admit when our kid comes in with a fat bloody lip the example we set might have had something to do with it?

    George
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  19. Steven Antonucci

    Steven Antonucci

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    It's about getting your definitions in order. Would you take responsibility for the guy how crashes a motorcycle because he saw someone jump their motorcycle? Everyone is accountable for their own safety. When I am teaching, I make the students wear a mask for their own safety because I have control of that environment. The AAW sanctioned events are completely under the AAW's control. The AAW can mandate faceshields, but chooses not to.

    However, the AAW cannot mandate what I do in my own life. I make that decision. The only time those things cross is if I am asked to do something at an AAW event. At that point, the AAW needs to stick to a firm policy, and I need to decide if I want to abide by these rules.

    My shop, my decision. (guidelines)

    AAW event, AAW decision. (rules)

    Your shop (you make the call)
     
  20. Keith T.

    Keith T.

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    George, the turner's death you mention disturbed me greatly as well. So much, in fact, I went out and purchased a hockey helmet and heavy-gauge face shield to replace my regular shield when I rough turn.By all the accounts I've heard, she always wore her faceshield...now you know the reason I now always warn against placing too much faith in the faceshield, and instead recommend we should take preventative measures first. I feel the face shield is the last resort, after all other measures have failed it's the only thing between you and bodily harm. So, please understand, I'm as concerned as you are, but take a different approach. The bandsaw safety article I wrote was a result of her accident, and others I've heard of as well, and was meant to help prevent further, needless injuries. I can tell you, however, as one who demo's and wears glasses, wearing a shield while talking on a humid day can fog the shield so much I have to remove it...I can't see. I hope you don't take my opinions as a personal affront, after all, the purpose of the forums is to air as many opinions as possible. I'll bet you're a good guy to know.
     

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