View Full Version : Workshop safety

02 October 2013, 1512
Since this forum is as much about building as riding, and safety seems to be a hot topic, I wanted to put in a plug for workshop safety. Just like riding safety, it's something way too many people dismiss or ignore, even professionals unfortunately. People have no idea how fast a bandsaw will remove fingers - actually fast enough that when it happens, the person doesn't realize it until they notice everyone else turning white.

I've taken a lot of workshop courses, and they always start with safety. In the machine shop where I do a lot of work, if you break the safety rules once you're warned, twice and you're kicked out. Most rules are pretty basic: wear safety glasses, don't wear loose clothing, watches or jewelry, tie your hair back, pay attention and don't screw around. Still, there are a million ways you can get burned, electrocuted, lose a finger, or get killed. A really sad story (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/nyregion/yale-student-dies-in-machine-shop-accident.html?_r=0) is the Yale grad student who was working late at night on the lathe with no one around - her hair got caught in the chuck, pulled her in and that was it.

Not trying to freak anyone out - things can always go wrong, but if you follow the basics you have a much better chance of keeping all your parts intact.

Here are a couple things I found that seem like good resources:



02 October 2013, 1521
...is the MIT grad student

Yale, I believe?

Yes, very sad indeed. It strikes particularly close to home: "...Noble and Greenough School in nearby Dedham". She went to High School in my town.

02 October 2013, 1536
Oops yup, Yale.

One of our physics shops has a rule that you can't work after hours without someone else there. That's where I work. The safety standard there is very high. The other shop (it's a big department) doesn't have that rule, or the same standards - the idea of grad students working on machines alone in the middle of the night, in a hurry to finish their experiment, running on nothing but caffeine scares the crap out of me.

02 October 2013, 1816
I used to work some late nights in the lab, but it was mainly molecular biology. If you ****ed up cause you were tired, more than likely your experiment just didn't work. However, a few years before I was in the Chemistry labs at QUT and they had a policy of NO after hours work, and if you needed to finish something by working late, you needed to sign some paperwork and have a lab buddy the whole time. Way more **** to go wrong in the chem lab.

02 October 2013, 2204
agreed, we always had a buddy when we were working late. My friend Wes lost a finger after his hair was pulled into the autofeed power shaft on the lathe. luckily my girlfriend was watching him and was able to mash the E-stop pedal so that his pinky was all it took (he grabbbed his ponytail and it wound his hand most of the way around) without kate there he probably would have been really messed up.

04 October 2013, 0806
Even with all the years experience, we can never be too careful.


Graphic images of Jesse James (from TMZ) while working in a shop.

07 October 2013, 1522
Danger around every corner! Working in a shop every day for years and the thing that put me in the E.R. was a putty knife. A very dull one.

But yeah, be careful with the lathe.