Safety session at the 2012 AAW Symposium

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

  1. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree that we shouldn't adopt a false sense of security and think that a face shield makes us somehow invincible. It would be a good idea for a class or program on safety to stress the fact that no piece of safety gear gives us license to ignore good judgement. In my opinion, a good "rule" to always follow is that we should assume an attitude at the lathe as though we are wearing no protective gear rather than an attitude of, "I am armored up and ready for battle". Hopefully, we will then also use protective gear that is appropriate for the task at hand.

    The one area where I am unclear of your meaning would be in your statement, ".... 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." My first reading led to to interpret this as something like. "faceshields are not very effective and therefore unnecessary unless we expect something to happen". After mulling it over a bit, maybe you are saying that we should take all prudent measures to assure that we are doing things safely including wearing a faceshield just in case our other precautions weren't enough.

    I'll have to agree with George that we can't ever prove that wearing a faceshield reduced the severity of an injury, but we can be sure that it didn't make things worse.

    Since there have been a number of comments regarding AAW safety guidelines, I will share my opinion -- would it be likely or reasonable or prudent for the AAW to issue a guideline to the effect that, "faceshields are really over rated and practically useless and, therefore, we see no point in using them". Since the AAW lacks the technical wherewithal to make such a statement, it ain't gonna' happen.

    I have also occasionally read misinformed comments on the forums or talked to woodturners who "blame the government" for safety regulations. First of all, the safety standards for eye protection as well as other protection come from ANSI safety standards which are industry developed standards. It just happens that OSHA and their counterparts in other countries adopt these standards. Before we go blaming some entity for having unwanted restrictions placed upon us (or even the mere suggestion that we ought to use certain safety gear), these safety standards are required to be followed in industry, but we woodturners are completely free to make our own choice.

    More about faceshields -- not all are created equal, but if we go to the local woodworking emporium or big box home improvement store, we will find a wide assortment of faceshields at varying prices and not much to help us decide which one is better. Most of us already know that those faceshields that meet ANSI industry standards will be marked with "Z87" on the polycarbonate shield. If you have done much searching, you may have also found that some of the polycarbonate shields are only about 1/32" thick and others as thick as 3/32". It turns out that faceshields qualified to Z87 standards have different requirements depending on the application. I was too cheap to fork out $57.00 to download the ANSI standard, but I found information on various sites that addresses some questions that we might have. Here is a simple summary of what ANSI Z87 does:
    The ANSI Z87.1 standard sets forth requirements for the design, construction, testing, and use of eye protection devices, including standards for impact and penetration resistance. All safety glasses, goggles, and face shields used by employees under OSHA jurisdiction must meet the ANSI Z87.1 standard. The eyewear standard includes the following minimum requirements:

    • Provide adequate protection against the hazards for which they are designed
    • Be reasonably comfortable
    • Fit securely, without interfering with movement or vision
    • Be capable of being disinfected if necessary, and be easy to clean
    • Be durable
    • Fit over, or incorporate, prescription eyewear
    Many manufacturers of sports eyewear and other protective eyewear not used in a work environment also comply with the ANSI Z87.1 standard. If you need protective eyewear of any kind, look for products that comply with the ANSI standard or consult with an optometrist, ophthalmologist, or optician before purchasing.
    I found a very good FAQ pdf document on the MSA site that explains some of the various categories for eye protection equipment:

    MSA Frequently Asked Questions about Z87.1 - 20120

    Additionally, I found the following pdf on the 3M site:

    3M Information on Z87.1 - 2010

    Finally, I found the following pdf on the Uvex site. It pertains mainly to eye wear, but there is some useful information that can be extrapolated to faceshields:

    Uvex Information on Z87.1

    What can be gathered from the above information is firstly that there is no specific category that correlates directly to woodturning. Additionally, the standard is for eye protection for a variety of work environments, but does not specifically address things like "crash test dummy" type of impacts. Some faceshields are rated only for protection against dust and small particles. The most stringent requirement uses a .25 inch steel ball being fired at 150 feet per second into the shield. There is also a heavy mass low velocity impact test that meets a somewhat lower level requirement for impact.

    Faceshields are not like air bags -- they are not kinetic energy absorbing devices. If a bowling ball size piece of wood whacks you in the head at 50 MPH, the faceshield might help to lessen the trauma by spreading the impact over a wider area, but your head is still going to take the full brunt of the kinetic energy. Before the days of seat belts and air bags, a lot of people died as a result of windshield impact head injuries in 35 MPH accidents. Moral of the story: make absolutely certain that what you are doing is safe because there is no safety gear that is going to save you from a major blow to the head. Pilots go through detailed preflight checklists before every single flight -- is there anything wrong with woodturners doing the same?
     
  2. Steven Antonucci

    Steven Antonucci

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    This is a good analogy. In a nutshell, the faceshield prevents certain types of accidents from being catastrophic, but it's not a defensive driving course. There are still people who are killed in severe car crashes, but safety precautions prevent accidents. Safety equipment minimize the damage.
     
  3. Gynia

    Gynia

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    On reflection this message has nothing to do with the thread topic or woodturning so I have edited it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Al Stirt has been wearing a face shield in his demos for quite a few years. Al does the best bowl demo I have seen. His platter demos are tops too.
    I recently saw David Ellsworth wearing a face shield in part of his demo and full time in a workshop. David does the best natural edge bowl demo I have seen. His hollowing demos are tops too.

    These are personal choices.

    I witnessed an accident in which a tiny "safe to turn" 3x3x6 spindle block came off the lathe at a good speed, hit the tool rest, and then the turner's face. Emergency room, lots of stitches and some dentistry. A face shield would have deflected the block. Of course lots of stuff set up the accident.. Turner in rush, poorly locked tailstock, tool rest a bit low....... We all lose focus from time to time and the gotchas are waiting.

    When everything works the way it should, a face shield is not needed. When the wood comes apart, the mounting fails, it is nice to have face shield.
    Part of the issue is that inexperienced turners are more likely to choose poor wood, mount it incorrectly, use incorrect lathe speed, and rip the wood from its mounting.

    One thing I tell students is not to move the tool rest when the lathe is running until they have been turning four years. In demos I won't move the rest on some lathes because they stick and I can't control where it goes.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The biggest problem with safety is common sense, or more specifically, the lack of it. Expecting every one to use common sense, all the time is wishful thinking. Trying to teach it is just as difficult.

    robo hippy
     
  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    QFT

    I can't imagine where you got that mistaken idea. It is a FAR requirement as well as common sense to conduct a preboarding walk-around inspection, a preflight, and lastly a pre-takeoff. These all mandate the use of written checklists to be done prior to every flight. As a former pilot, I can assure you that none of these things are ever skipped and most certainly not "in favor of expediency" or for any other imagined reason. Sometimes parts of the latter two checks are conducted during taxi from gate to holding line, but they are still done.
     
  7. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Fixation on face shields, which are adequate against small projectiles, but certainly too easy to knock off or smash in if you persist in turning things rapidly or mounting them loosely. Sad.

    I shudder when I see someone using a spur center when roughing a bowl blank when there are so many better options available, like the faceplate, the counterbore and pin jaws or pin chuck. Even a counterbore to corral the spur center is better than whacking it into wet wood with a mallet. Those people might need a full safety helmet. Especially when they stand in the throw zone while starting and often while turning. I like to keep the work at arm's length. I'll take some barked knuckles, or the occasional bark into the knuckles. No knuckle shield for me.

    Then there's the rest, which should be positioned as a support and control for the tool, and a barrier against the work as a projectile. Keep it close, and keep it a bit above center on convex work so you won't be as likely to lift it by getting under the wood. Make sure it extends inside as you rip the guts out of the inside of a bowl, too. That way you're doubly clear, as you were when working outside. The core people can't do it easily, but it is SO much safer to keep the bowl suspended between your faceplate or chuck and live center until it's ready to start sanding, too.

    After that easy stuff, you can read Frank Pain's book and learn how to cut the wood as it wishes to be cut, and put the shavings away from your face.

    Face shields optional.
     
  8. Keith T.

    Keith T.

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    Hi Bill, I posted some of my safety precautions in an earlier post in this same thread, such as using a faceplate and appropriate screws rather than a chuck for big, out of balance pieces, and to draw up the tailstock for added security. Check the lathe speed before starting the lathe...you can read the others if you want. I am often appalled to see the pieces of wood some turners put on the lathe....huge cracks filled with glue and sawdust, etc. They are an accident waiting to happen. Listen...a sudden tick-tick-tick- is a warning sign. Any change in sound should warn you to shut the lathe off and check for problems...that ticking could be a blank ready to split apart. Don't take me wrong..you must wear a shield or other eye protection, but preventing an accident in the first place is the key to safe turning. (just my opinion)

    Like Alan Z., I too ride a motorcycle. In addition to his precautions, I also check my tire pressures EVERY time I ride (I'm sure he does too),I make sure my safety equipment works properly; lights, horn, etc.. If I anticipate a "sporty" ride, I always ride through the selected road to ensure no washed-out corners, fallen limbs or other hazards exist. I sometimes ride at the limit of my abilities...I don't want to find out how the bike reacts only in a crisis.
     
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Those are the sorts of things that I though would be appropriate for a checklist (at least mental if not written). Sometimes flaws in wood are not blantantly obvious especially to a novice. I know of some turners who beat on a piece of wood once it is chuck mounted to help insure that the tenon isn't going to shear off or that a recess for a scroll chuck isn't going to lead to prying open a flaw. During the turning process, paying attention to the sound as the wood is being cut as mentioned by MM is very important.

    And it certainly does make sense to at least bore a hole to help hold the wood captive when starting off between centers.

    When I was young and invincible, I did foolish things on a motorcycle like riding at high speed through the woods on cow trails. I quit riding after filling my pockets with road paving material on a 90° turn on a country road.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Our experiences seem quite different. I have taught bowl turning to about 300 beginning level students using the side ground gouge. Not one student pulled a between centers bowl from the lathe. A few have bored holes with the spur drive due to a catch or forgetting to tighten the tailstock. From my experience between centers is one of the safest mounts available given the spur drive is is in good shape, the spur bites into solid wood, and the tail stock clamps properly.
    I have had 20 or so of these students break a chuck tenon on a bowl. But all have had proper speed and the tool rest positioned to cut at center. The bowls have always hit the tool rest and rolled way.

    Face shields are mandatory for my students.

    Your experience with between centers seems quite different.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The first thing that I do when mounting an out-of-round piece of wood between centers is to statically balance it before engaging the drive spur into the wood. Static balancing does not insure perfect dynamic balance, but unless the wood is really unusually shaped, is is close enough for practical purposes. By first balancing the piece, I am assured that it will start out with the least tendency to fly off the lathe.

    I think that MM's point might apply to an unknowing person sticking a piece of wood between centers without regard to balance and running up the RPM to an unreasonably high speed. In a case like that, it is easy to see how the wood might be lauched into a sub-orbital trajectory.

    When a tenon fails, it is usually not very dramatic, because the failure is due to torsional shearing of the wood which does not produce much in the way of radial forces. If the tenon shears off because of jamming a bowl gouge into the wood, then things could be more exciting.
     
  12. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Perhaps this is the point of this thread. There are a lot of things that we do that are safe IF we know what we are doing, but if left to some one to figure out on their own can be catastrophic. Some just have to do things their own way, and learn from experience. Some are willing to learn from the experience of others. How do we impart our wisdom and experience to the unknowing.

    Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from, well, bad judgement.

    robo hippy
     
  13. Steven Antonucci

    Steven Antonucci

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    I like that. I usually say "Experience is the thing you get right after you needed it" I may use yours instead...
     
  14. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Steve, I can't claim that as an original. I think it is author unknown.

    robo hippy
     
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I first heard it a very long time ago ... long before the Internet, but its origin may be lost.

    EDIT: I did a search and found that it came from humorist Will Rogers. Perhaps that quote should be incorporated into the Mission Statement for Safety Awareness Training as not being the best approach to practicing Good Judgement. Sometimes I have wondered if the electric fence around our cow pasture is working ... and have wondered to myself about the fabled test to check its operation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  16. Steven Antonucci

    Steven Antonucci

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    Unknown. I think I know that guy!:)
     
  17. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Will Rogers was pretty cool. One little known fact about him, he was exceptional with rope tricks. He is the only one to have passed himself and his horse through a loop at a full gallop.

    robo hippy
     
  18. squirrel

    squirrel

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    Hi,


    each year, I'm counting my money .... never I have enough money to travel andstay at the woodworking symposium. I love to do that but it is simply not possible.
    Maybe when I earn some more money with woodturning ... so this means in 5 years? I have now a first show in a very important gallery, here in Europe and I'm invited to have a museumshow in 1,5 years ... but when I am so far to earn money with woodturning (5 years) there will be no need to follow a course on woodworking anymore.

    But as a memeber of the AAW I find there must be access for safetyguidelines for ALL members - I'm paying as well as another. So, a dvd is a very good idea, I think.
    And, I insist , that the best thing to do is to have a permanent chapter in the forum about safetyproblemw: questions and stories. Permanent, yes, because the guy who enters the forum next year and miss the topics which are going on now, must be protected as well.

    We have to stop to tell 90 % of the time how passionating and hos much satisfaction woodworking can give and to talk 10 % about safety. This causes accidents and fractures.
    In Europe, we learn woodturning ALONE, by internet and so the safetylines must be provided by internet.

    Best regards - Squirrel
     
  19. Bill Grumbine

    Bill Grumbine

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    I hardly ever come here anymore, but I just had a very long phone conversation with another person who mentioned this thread. So I came and read through it. One thing I hear repeatedly when I go places to demo, and I have been all over the US, is that people appreciate my emphasis on safety. Nothing is foolproof. Nothing is guaranteed. But there are many ways to mitigate risk. A face shield is essential. People who think they are able to stay out of the way of fragmentation are engaged in wishful thinking. Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it never will. That goes for all those turners who have had long careers without injury as well.

    For those of us who demonstrate and teach, it is a given that students are going to emulate you. That is why they brought you in to teach. Safety practices are part of that. Show and do unsafe things, and people will go home and do likewise. "Do as I say and not as I do" does not work any better with adults than it does with children. If you are going to show a difficult cut or procedure, show how to do it safely, or don't show it. Always keep in mind, people are going to go home and try to do what you just showed, regardless of whatever disclaimers you put out in front of it.

    It is not hard to make safety part of a demo. It isn't even that hard to make it entertaining. But it does take some effort. I find it very ironic that one person in this thread has made some of the comments he has made. I practically had to throw him off my own lathe because he refused to wear a face shield. Ultimately, I gave him two choices, and he chose the face shield. But I do agree with one comment. If the AAW wants people to show safe turning habits, tell them it is a requirement of the demo - period. I suspect there will be lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth if that ever happens though.
     
  20. AlanZ

    AlanZ

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    Hear hear, Bill.

    I was always impressed that your videos show you stressing safer techniques, and protective clothing/gear. As you know, I'm in the "ATGATT" (all the gear, all the time) camp for motorcyling safety equipment. For me, the same approach is applicable in the shop.

    This has been a fine discussion.

    I've been having offline conversations with some demonstrators... there are things that can be done to facilitate demonstrations and improve saftey all the way around.

    Raising the awareness is a first step.

    I'll be consolidating the results of my discussions and research... it might help to move things along.
     

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