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(1) 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 side bars in place, a thing I have done so many times. The table being 28” tall and a cross membrane to step on to get on top, 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 went, 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 causing 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 is mishap free and a reminder to be wary and wise!
John
 

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John, Thanks for sharing your lesson. We have a saying at work, 'every regulation is written in someone else's blood.' Hopefully we can learn from each other's mistakes instead of having to make them all on our own.

Hope your recovery goes well,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We all do it!

scraps to treasures said:
My motto is " Use the right tool for the job" if you don't have then buy it. Good excuse to get more tools.
scraps to treasures
I agree with you completely and find no excuse for using a bench for a ladder, (I always love new tools) I have a ladder but like many I find a path of little resistance (easiest at the time) like using a screwdriver for a pry or scraper or a dull tool you were going to sharpen yesterday.

My goal was to bring to light things we do in everyday life the same way we did our whole lives, this does not make it correct. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but I learn from my mistakes. I thank you for the comments

Pete/kp91
Thanks for the comments.

Everyone have a fine day!
John
 

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Discussion Starter #7
AxlMyk said:
I bought a Cosco folding ladder just for the garage. Sturdy, and just the right size.
http://www.nextag.com/Cosco-Max-Work-Platform-80480953/prices-html
It sure beats the wire spool I used before.
Nice looking ladder do I wish I had one of them before Jan. 12 2008, but a product like that is on my priority list and "the better half" will not even question me ... A man has to like it. I wonder if I can convince her that a new router is a safety issue. NOT!
Thanks John
 

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Hi Mike

Most people are lazy just like me , I have 3 of the type below all over the shop that I kick around when I need them sometimes.. :) (spring loaded wheels under the base)

http://www.nextag.com/RCP2523BLA-Rubbermaid-Anti-Skid-84667183/prices-html

I also have a small step ladder in the corner and 3 leg ladder ,a 6 ft.one in the back room to get wood stock off the rack...(from the top shelf ) but like most I will by pass getting one when I need it the most...I will just get a stick and pop something off the top shelf and then grab it when it falls down...lazy I know..:)


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Hey BJ,

I will just get a stick and pop something off the top shelf and then grab it when it falls down...lazy I know..

Not only lazy but somewhat risky as well (just my opinion). I've had my share of close calls but you know what? The best thing about this thread is we all get to learn how to be safe with certain things and better yet, it once again puts our focus on safety as the number 1 item when working in the shop. After all, it takes time to heal and while we heal we usually can't work in the shop so our fun is also taken from us for a short while.

Earlier someone put something on the site about working with bandsaws.....fortunately I read that and corrected the way I was feeding wood through it. I was starting to form a bad habit but thanks to whoever put that on the site....I will likely keep my fingers due to reading that thread.

Ed......:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bj
I just looked at a stool at Canadian Tire "2 step folding stool" for $40.00 and looked quite solid, but I will wait until I get a little more mobile and eye ball it first hand. Once bit twice shy!
good link!
John
 

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Hi Ed

I guess I should not call it a stick,, I was not to sure how to spell it..

It's my daughters proboscises that she had when she was 3 years, the hook type, and I did rework it a bit with some threaded rod so I could use it to pick off items off the top shelf...I use it all the time and it hangs just over the RAS all the time.. :)

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Check twice! said:
Bj
I just looked at a stool at Canadian Tire "2 step folding stool" for $40.00 and looked quite solid, but I will wait until I get a little more mobile and eye ball it first hand. Once bit twice shy!
good link!
John
Hi John. Is this the one you were looking at: Step ladder ?

I have this one, and it's great for both the shop and house. Sturdy, not too tall, and a large platform to stand on instead of just a ladder rung.

Hope you heal fast.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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That one should be OK. What I like about the one I have is that it has a rail around the top to steady myself against, and it also has a small tray/platform that folds out flat to put tools etc on until you need them.

Brian
 

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I'm a bit partial to the "little Giant" but, not to partial to the price tag it has. So, I use regular folding step ladders. :)
 

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BrianS said:
That one should be OK. What I like about the one I have is that it has a rail around the top to steady myself against, and it also has a small tray/platform that folds out flat to put tools etc on until you need them.

Brian
I never thought of the benifits of a rail or the tool rest. Maybe a suit of armour and a sky hook as well! These 60 year old bones do not look favourable on breaks and fractures. I will check things out when I get a chance to do some shopping.

Have a great day!
John
 

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Your story came at a good time John, in recent times I've become rather blase' when it comes to safety, but after three recent "incidents" together with your reminder, I intend to pay far more attention where safety is concerned. Get well soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
harrysin said:
Your story came at a good time John, in recent times I've become rather blase' when it comes to safety, but after three recent "incidents" together with your reminder, I intend to pay far more attention where safety is concerned. Get well soon.
Thanks Harry
I am sure I still have some "not to safe habits" hanging around the shop waiting for my return, but I surely will review my workshop habits.
A friend of mine always tells me "things happen for a reason" I am just hoping this happened to refresh memory on my workshop habits and not punish me for the past mistakes I got away with! (those close calls) We all know the ones :)
Have a great woodworking day!
John
 

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Safety is needed everywhere. Especially in work shops, people tend to work harder and the environment should be in a better way poised. You cannot try your fortunes in the workshop. It may cost your life. Prevention is always better than cure. So we must learn how to prevent ourself. Safety is first measure that has to be taken care before we start our business to do.
 
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