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Anonymous

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I haven't had chance to read all the previous correspondence but wonder whether Health & Safety shouldn't have it's own area on the site? Woodworkers suffer more accidents and injuries than any comparable occupation and many could be avoided by knowledge of the dangers and subsequent safe working practice. A good place to start is

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/woodindx.htm

As an employed instructor, I have a duty to ensure anyone using my workshop is safe and knows the dangers: therefore I have to be fairly well clued up on the subject. I know that for many, Health & Safety is a drag and inconvenience but I personally knew someone who had lost the tips of several fingers on a small table saw due to poor practice. This is so unnecessary and as a responsible site, I think we have a duty to promote good practice. Does anyone really want to suffer an amputation because they couldn't be bothered to work safely?

Hope that isn't too heavy but A & E is not a fun place to go!
 

Adam

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Rocker":pa8uk6pt said:
I haven't had chance to read all the previous correspondence
I think we're pretty good here about discussing safety actually. If you look back through the posts, it comes up on a regular basis.

Rocker":pa8uk6pt said:
but wonder whether Health & Safety shouldn't have it's own area on the site?
I disagree, as

A) People won't read it
B) Safety is normally specific to the discussion in progress.

All replies to questions from noobs invariably have all the health and safety equipment they need.

I think "little and often" is a much better way to drill health and safety - and if you look through mosts posts about machines - it crops up somewhere.

And as much as I hate it, there are legal implications with supplying "official health and safety" advice - we are all untrained - we can offer advice - but a specific sections?

Can you imagine?.....

"Judge, I bought my new tablesaw in Jan 2004 - I then read up about safety on Uk_workshop - it didn't specifically that if I had the table on a poor surface AND I took the guard off AND the lighting was poor AND I was tired AND I had had a tipple earlier AND the wood was warped AND I am registered blind that their might be a danger of cutting my finger off" :shock:

I think we are all fairly responsible in here - in fact the link you posted - I've seen it many times before - people often get directed to the pdf sheets on all the WW machines - that HSE have produced.



Adam
 

Alf

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Rocker,

Welcome to the forums.

Purely from a personal standpoint <takes off moderator's hat and dumps it on the floor having failed to make a hat stand yet :oops: > I think I agree with Adam. We're almost boringly safety conscious around here. In fact things can even get a triffle heated on the subject sometimes. :roll: Generally for every dubious method advocated or mentioned by one poster, two or three others will step in and say -at length- why they'd never do it that way and look-I-can-still-count-up-to-ten-without-taking-my-socks-off. Occasionally bags of peas are mentioned. Heated discussion then ensues until somehow Adam manages to turn it into a thread about the Woodrat and everyone runs away screaming...

Sorry, a tad too much levity there perhaps, but you might find a quick search on "safety" will throw up just how often it comes up and how rarely, if ever, it's dismissed as unimportant.

So I see green woodwork mentioned in your profile; chairs? Must be with a nickname like Rocker! Do tell...

Cheers, Alf
 

Adam

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Hey, I suggested the other thread get locked down? You're a moderator!

Adam
 

Philly

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Hey, if we have a seperate H+S section, can we also have a "Dado Rant" section! :twisted:
Just trying to be helpful(ish)
Philly
 
A

Anonymous

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Fairs comments - we can't be responsible for other peoples actions but shouldn't there be some form of editing that prevents examples of bad practice being/staying on the site? If a blatant example of bad practice is posted, shouldn't it be removed with a polite e-mail to the 'poster' explaining why the practice is considered inappropriate? I'm concerned by the number of people who don't use a crown guard or riving knife on their table saws - are they fully aware of the risks? Do they know what a riving knife is for? If so, more fool them for not using them...

Keep safe all - and enjoy your work
 

Adam

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Rocker":fkg7czwg said:
Fairs comments - we can't be responsible for other peoples actions but shouldn't there be some form of editing that prevents examples of bad practice being/staying on the site?
Not if people reply and explain why this is dangerous. I believe it is better to see the original posting, and the responses. This helps me understand the risks.

Rocker":fkg7czwg said:
I'm concerned by the number of people who don't use a crown guard or riving knife on their table saws - are they fully aware of the risks?
I believe that yes, they do understand the risks. They might curse, complain, and moan when they lose a finger, but yes, they are aware of the risks. (I use both the above!)

Rocker":fkg7czwg said:
Do they know what a riving knife is for? If so, more fool them for not using them...
Yes, I think people do know what they are for, and yes, more fool them for not using them, but people know about smoking, unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, excess speed in cars, etc etc - and it doesn't stop them doing any of those things, what makes you think they will single out Table Saw safety and change their habits on that? Smoking is a lot more lethal than any woodwork machine!

Although it looks a bit like I'm "anti-safety", I have looked at the HSE website, read up on TS safety (for example), use a riving knife, crown guard, safety goggles, dust extractor, hearing protection, - have an emergency phone, etc etc. I always advocate the use of above safety items, but do believe it comes down to personal choice. Anyone capable of using a TS is capable of assesing the risks themself. Even with all the above I still appreciate their is some risk in using a table saw. I have decided that the remaining risk is acceptable. Some here use Dado blades and again, they have made an informed choice. Others here choose to use a bandsaw, and as the statistics on the HSE site show, they are much safer.

Adam
 
A

Anonymous

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Anyone capable of using a TS is capable of assesing the risks themself.
Adam,
I have my doubts!
As an example, though not related to a tablesaw, I was asked to run a couple of entry level routing courses a couple of years ago.
I was told by the sponsors that the 'students' (all adults M&F ranging from 25-65) were all competent woodworkers who regularly use hand tools and power tools but just want to understand the ins and outs of routing from the basics through to a little more advanced stuff.
I asked the people on the course if this was the case, and it was confirmed, so we set about making a small spice rack or something like it, involving routing and hand tool work.
I still cringe now when I saw one guy with a piece of timber in the vice, one hand behind the timber, the other forcing a chisel into a small notch to fit over a housing.
I quickly asked him to stop and quizzed him about his technique, before showing him a safe method which wouldn't involve a chisel going straight through his palm.
He realised the danger of his method once I had pointed it out, but seemed totally unaware of it up until that point.
And this is where I think the problem arises on the machinery side. Despite the postings on this site taking either side of the argument, the membership is minimal compared to the amount of people out there who own saws and have probably come very close to having lost parts of their anatomy because of an assumption they 'knew how to use it'.
I speak from experience of how easy it is to get caught out, partly down to me, and partly to others using machines without the knowledge of how they work.
Ten years ago I was in a boatbuilding workshop where access to a 24in wide Wadkin planer thicknesser was available to both 'trained' woodworkers and what I would call labourers.
They latter didn't understand the need to leave the outfeed table level with the cutters and couldn't determine which bed to adjust for depth of cut.
This resulted in the outfeed table being out of line. I had to rush a piece of timber through which, by my own admission I should have properly adjusted the guards to do so, but speed was the essense as it was a deadline that had to be hit. The result was the timber clipping the back bed dipping into the block and flying out from under my hand, resulting in my hand being dragged back and my own downwards pressure on the timber that was no longer there dropping my two middle fingers into the block.
I was lucky. I took one down to the bone and the top off the other, but both grew back.
I now advocate safety at all times, including preaching to people the need to understand how tools work by learning the correct usage of them, not to take it as read that what is seen on TV is gospel.
Speed is no longer the essense, if it takes an extra few seconds to guard the tool properly, I take them.
I also never assume that everyone who has something either knows, or is fully aware of how to use it, especially when it comes to tools where you move your hands towards the danger area.

Andy
 

Adam

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andy king":30hzrynw said:
I still cringe now when I saw one guy with a piece of timber in the vice, one hand behind the timber, the other forcing a chisel into a small notch to fit over a housing.
I quickly asked him to stop and quizzed him about his technique, before showing him a safe method which wouldn't involve a chisel going straight through his palm.
He realised the danger of his method once I had pointed it out, but seemed totally unaware of it up until that point.
OK, point taken, but a chisel? Do people at any time now, accept responsibilty for their own actions? Common sense?

And this is where I think the problem arises on the machinery side. Despite the postings on this site taking either side of the argument, the membership is minimal compared to the amount of people out there who own saws and have probably come very close to having lost parts of their anatomy because of an assumption they 'knew how to use it'.
True, but my comments were mainly based at the people who do frequency this website. OK, as a magazine producer you probably have more of a responsibility to educate people with specific H+S tips, but if people buy a TS and then don't investigate safety it's their own fault. If they come here and read some posts from the past, or ask a new question I'm certain we would suggest the links to the HSE website, goodo books, and precautions we take ourselves.

I speak from experience of how easy it is to get caught out, partly down to me, and partly to others using machines without the knowledge of how they work.
Ten years ago I was in a boatbuilding workshop where access to a 24in wide Wadkin planer thicknesser was available to both 'trained' woodworkers and what I would call labourers.
They latter didn't understand the need to leave the outfeed table level with the cutters and couldn't determine which bed to adjust for depth of cut.
This resulted in the outfeed table being out of line. I had to rush a piece of timber through which, by my own admission I should have properly adjusted the guards to do so, but speed was the essense as it was a deadline that had to be hit. The result was the timber clipping the back bed dipping into the block and flying out from under my hand, resulting in my hand being dragged back and my own downwards pressure on the timber that was no longer there dropping my two middle fingers into the block.
I was lucky. I took one down to the bone and the top off the other, but both grew back.
Phew. Very close :shock:

I now advocate safety at all times, including preaching to people the need to understand how tools work by learning the correct usage of them, not to take it as read that what is seen on TV is gospel.
This is no different to my own view point, except you can't teach people who refuse to learn, or don't want to know.
I also never assume that everyone who has something either knows, or is fully aware of how to use it, especially when it comes to tools where you move your hands towards the danger area.
I think many of us spend out time here for exactly that reason. We are always learning new techniques, working practices and I think if you ever consider yourself to have "mastered" a TS or other equipment, you are becoming complacent.

Adam
 

Aragorn

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Hi Andy
In principle I'm with you on this. A dedicated Safety section on the forum would be a good way to group together people's experiences, advice and near misses :!:
People that aren't interested in safety; think they know it all; are already extremely safety conscious etc don't have to look at it do they!

asleitch":2afpbr9d said:
Anyone capable of using a TS is capable of assesing the risks themself
Bit presumptious I reckon. Not everyone understands the forces exerted by a table saw blade or how wood can move when ripped due to the release of tension within the board.
Any machine that's capable of cutting wood is capable of mulching flesh and bone as well. I'm very safety conscious, but rarely actually safe. I regularly remove the riving knife and never use the blade guard. [Shock :roll: Horror]. These are informed and considered desicions coming from a lot of experience. I've been using a table saw for over 20 years and never had an accident, and I'd like to keep it that way! For me, being reminded of the risks keeps me on my toes, and keeps me working safely. It would be good to drop into a safety section occasionally to do that.
Does that ring true for many of you guys?
 

Philly

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Hey All,
I agree with Aragorn that being reminded of H+S is good, keeping us on our toes. But what I don't like is what I call the "British" disease-most of the British W-Wing magazines are full of letters containing boring H+S winges. I find them negative and depressing-they remind me of why Britains engineering prowess has all but disappeared. We delight in ripping to pieces articles, letters and photo's in magazines when we should be inspiring ourselves to produce finer work. Take a look in the American magazines for a totally different outlook. They still have H+S articles and letters but the overall tone is much more positive. In the UK, the Nanny state mindset seems to want stop people using machinery or learning new skills. It is possible to learn how to use power tools, etc WITHOUT going on Government sponsered courses- there is a huge amount of information in books, magazines and on the internet (i.e. this forum). Obviously, safety if paramount, especially as this is a hobby (apologies to Pro woodworkers), but this must not be an excuse to stop people learning new skills or enjoying themselves. H+S is there for your protection, not to prevent you enjoying yourself.
Sorry for the rant, but this subject is an important one, but for a wide range of reasons.
Regards,
Philly
 
G

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Before I joined this forum I did not have a guard or riving knife on my table saw. I have since made and fitted both but I am not sure I feel any safer for doing so.Before, when I could see the blade I was reminded every time I switched on what a dangerous piece of metal was spinning round quite near to part of me, all parts I hold dear and would like to be buried with all intact.Now the blade is covered I don't know exactly where it is,I'm still careful but perhaps I will have to make a perspex guard,just so that I can see it.
 
A

Anonymous

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Philly,

I apreciate what you are saying, but if you look at it from the magazine point of view, if we started showing how to do woodwork that didn't fall within H&S boundaries we would leave ourselves wide open to a law suit from anyone who read a particular article and got injured carrying it out.
We try as much as we can to ensure that safe woodworking practices are adhered to, but we still get contributors who insist on taking off the guarding and taking photos accordingly. When this happens we try and give an alternative to the method employed or indicate that the guards should be on. While we have no juristriction on what readers do in their own home, we are bound by common sense and safety at all times.
I agree the American magazines put out some fantastic projects and ideas which can work very well in the UK market, without having to use American techniques and tooling. Personally, I would love to be able to have time to do the same in ours, but the US mags have immense funding and staff to draw upon. As an idea of figures, I think it is Fine Woodworking which sells in the region of 300,000 per issue(don't quote me on that!), and just a quick look at their editorial team let alone contributors will give you an idea of what power they have when it comes to filling the magazine.
By comparison, Good Woodworking is the market leader in the UK, (something which I am proud of) but our ABC audit figures are only just over 18,000 copies per month. We have an editorial team of 4 people (3 woodies and 1 art editor) and three main contributors. The rest is either generated in house or we have to source it ourselves....it ain't easy!!!
Again, our magazine is aimed at a mainstream audience, so we try and cater for all which is very difficult. Our subscriber base is pretty loyal, but the browsers, and I was one myself, will pick up each mag, whether it is ours, Woodworker, Practical, Trad, or New Woodworking and decide each month what they want to read and buy accordingly.
Trying to find out what makes an issue sell better than others when you have so many variables such as tool tests, projects, features and also what your rivals put out that month and how you can make the next issue do better based on the same criteria is an impossible task, but we persevere!
:D
 
A

Anonymous

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Of course, if I learned how to spell before I posted it might help!
I of course meant jurisdiction! :oops:
Journalists! what are they like? I wouldn't know, i cut wood really! :shock:
 

Philly

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Andy,
I wasn't having a go at you, honest! Actually, it's more the letters from readers that annoy me. They are always picking holes in stuff (not talking about wood here). As an example, remember the photo in a chaps workshop where you could see a child in the background-the response to that was pathetic. If readers could send in postive letters about things it would be much more enjoyable-or maybe i'm just the sensitive kind(?!)
I appreciate FW has a much bigger budget, etc. and appreciate what you have to do to get an issue out. But hobbies are for fun, and this should be reflected. As I said, i'm not have a dig specifically at you or GW, it was a more general dig. (Alright ,Trad Wood)
Bottom line-Play safe, but you gotta play! H+S is not there to prevent you doing anything, its there to make sure you enjoy yourself AND keep your fingers/soft parts/add your own here!
Don't forget those safety glasses,
Philly

P.s. Andy, I see you're getting a lot of cover shots recently-what's it like to be the good looking one then? :D
 
A

Anonymous

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Philly,

No problem! I never take these things personally, it's a free country after all.....isn't it? :shock:
As for me on the cover, all part of our ongoing Health and Safety strategy.
We've done research and it appears that when i'm on the cover the amount of kids getting burnt drops dramatically. It seems that parents are buying the issue and putting the cover on the mantlepiece over the fire to keep them away!
 

Philly

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Andy,
Nice One!
Glad to see you've got your sense of humour intact!
Any luck with a certain table saw review?
Philly
 
A

Anonymous

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Philly,

My sense of humour may be intact, but the Elvis Parsley quiff is a little on the wayward side!
At the risk of going even more off topic and getting slapped wrists, the test of one of the Xcalibur table saws is complete and off at the printers even as we type! I would like to give you an in depth review here, but we need to get the ABC's up for next year so you'll have to go and buy one!

:D

Andy
 

Alf

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So Andy, who was it then who decided "Safety" should count as one of the "ten reasons you need a table saw"? :lol: I did a double take and had to check it wasn't really "ten reasons you don't want a table saw". :wink:

I dunno, but I think maybe we get so wrapped up in the minutae of safety that sometimes the main message gets lost. Personally I like to boil it down to one phrase which I ask myself before I do anything:

If it slips, where's it going to go?

Works for me. So far anyway... :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 
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