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Is shop safety needed?

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  • Is shop safety needed?

    This being the 15 April I go and have a cast removed that has been around my leg since the 12 january 2008. I wrote this on the 12 March 2008.

    My story.
    SAFETY: Safety means different things to different people but the bottom line is “safety is the prevention of accidents” and the procedure one follows if an accident occurs. If I start to list all safety rules we would require a large notebook and a week to read them. I have a motto “check twice / think twice” before operating a tool in your shop or planning projects. We all become complacent hence the saying “familiarity breeds contempt”.

    To show how normal workshop habits can become a potential hazard I will give a personal experience as an example.

    On January 12 2008 I decided to change the light in the shop that had burned out a week ago (not enough light for working, a potential hazard) so I got out my trusty step ladder (a folding portable work mate bench) and proceeded to unfold and lock the two sidebars in place. This is something I have done so many times before.

    The table being 28” tall and a cross membrane to step on this seemed perfect, for changing lights, so I thought. I had successfully done this many times before so where is the problem. I got out my new light and up I stepped. As I got one side of the bulb loose I turned to move to the other side, which was a piece of cake, I’m there. When I went to turn back to get a good view of the light my foot stepped on the outer edge of the bench (not a problem any other time) but I had not fully locked the bar on one side and the bench folded out from under me. This caused me to slip off and fall the 28”. I landed on my right heel and fractured the calcaneus. (Large heel bone)

    This being March 24, 2008 and a operation, four screws, foot fusion, and a potential six months laid up I have had time to think about how a simple common practice can turn into an accident. I am not in the position to preach so the best I can say on shop safety is “think twice / check twice”.

    I hope all your wood working projects are mishap free and a reminder to be wary and wise!

    I am looking forward to returning to the shop.
    Cleaning my glasses will not make me look better,
    But it will make me see better!

  • #2

    Re: Is shop safety needed?

    A timely warning, check twice, thanks. This might be a good time to remind everyone that workmates usually come with explicit warnings not to use them as step ladders.