Posting Gruesome Workshop Injuries

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Blog entry by HallTree posted 02-14-2009 06:27 AM 26212 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know that these are hard to look at and some of you do not think they should be posted. I feel for those that this has happen to. This month I will be 70. I have many scars on my hands from many years of working with power tools. Most of those scars a small. A couple are not, but I still have all of my fingers. I have desided that I am going to download those photo’s, and others that I find on the internet, and hang them on the walls of the woodshop in the senior co-op where I live. Most of the guys here are my age or older. We need a constant reminder.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

20 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5339 days

#1 posted 02-14-2009 06:39 AM

Are you going to post them?

I have been giving my brother links to all of these injury posts. He is a construction trades teacher and uses them for safety awareness training.

These posts have certainly caught my attention and have renewed awareness of my work own work habits.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 4682 days

#2 posted 02-14-2009 08:59 AM

If you think it works go ahead. Personally I remember when they tried to make us better learner drivers in New Zealand by showing us photo,s of crash victims thinking it would scare us, it didn,t, and we still keep seen add campaigns designed to lower the road toll showing horrific accidents done hollywood style aimed at frightning people to slow down etc, that year the road toll was higher than ever, go figure. Now anti tobacco legislation in some countries has gruesome photo,s of cancer patients on the packets to frighten people, after a while you just stop looking and light up anyway. The point is we are all immortal and it will never happen to us, and to see pics of other people,s injurys does nothing until, like 3fingerpats, it,s our picture up there. After a while people simply won,t look at the wall, and they will still cut their fingers off. Its like kids and violent video games, eventually it,s no longer violent to them because they see it all the time even if you think it,s shocking.
After 15 years in the trade I have never seen an accident “happen” but i have seen more than a few accidents “caused” . Ask your self how these people came to have their photo,s taken in the first place, did it just “happen” or was it “caused”.
I know you have good intentions and maybe it will work for your guys and at the end of the day a finger saved is a finger saved so give it a go and I wish you luck but i,ve always found Personel responsibility and common sense to be more effective than any photo.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4798 days

#3 posted 02-14-2009 02:17 PM

Cessna, I agree with you. I would like to post some of those pictures in our shop. I had three fingers severed in 1977 on a tablesaw with all the guards in place and functioning. Luckily they were reattached by a doctor who was then 70 years old. I was cutting a 1/2” piece of finger jointed pine for a drawer when the blade hit some dard glue or a piece of metal and pulled my hand through the saw. Believe me this accident just Happened and was not Caused by error.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 5246 days

#4 posted 02-14-2009 02:19 PM

I’ve probably been around to see 6 or 8 guys cut their fingers off. These are surreal events that have emotional facets to them that a mere picture of a physical injury can’t do justice. What i’ve learned is that i can’t afford even one second of forgetting what the machine i’m working on is capable of. You can’t be afraid of machines, but you certainly have to respect them.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View TimberMan's profile


115 posts in 4704 days

#5 posted 02-14-2009 03:36 PM

Feel free to add these to your collection. There are from two years ago. One of these days I am going to frame the x-ray along with the board I was ripping. I think I will hang it where I can see it every time I turn on my TS. Follow the link for the good pictures. I really wish I had thought to take a picture when the Doc was checking out the bone.

From Saw Meets Finger

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4798 days

#6 posted 02-14-2009 03:43 PM

Looks very familiar timberman…...............ouch

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View EEngineer's profile


1139 posts in 4853 days

#7 posted 02-14-2009 04:11 PM

I think I will hang it where I can see it every time I turn on my TS.

Good idea. I think an appropriate place is on the ridiculously large paddles that everyone seems to be hanging on their STOP switches for table saws lately.

My father and grandfather were both involved in woodworking until the day they died. They were both buried with all their fingers. The one thing that I took away from their instruction in the shop was to THINK before starting to work. Both of them would spend hours sometimes thinking of a jig or setup to do something, particularly if it involved something intricate or dangerous with a power tool. Many of them were simple one-shot jigs or fixtures that could never be used for anything else than just that one tricky operation. They never discussed whether it was worth the extra time and effort it took to make any of these things; it was just something you did.

The last time I came close to an injury, I was working on the router table. I was cutting 3/8” rabbets in 3/4” cherry. I had 4 pieces to do, couldn’t locate the push stick I usually keep near the router table, and I was in a hurry so I put the first one through by hand. When I saw how close my fingers were coming to the router bit at the end of the first pass, I shut the machine down, had a cup of coffee, located push stick and featherboards and jigged up something safer. The last piece of 4 slipped at the end of the cut and tore a 3/4” rounded notch out of the plastic push stick. That could have been my fingers!

I certainly hope I won’t be adding any pictures to this collection.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Pimzedd's profile


645 posts in 5383 days

#8 posted 02-14-2009 04:26 PM

Just like Todd, I would like to see them posted. I am an administrator for Construction teachers. I pass on such postings to my teachers.

Sometimes the gruesome photos are the only thing that works for some kids. Unfortunately, they scare some kids too much. It is up to the teachers to figure out which ones to show and who to show them to.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 4955 days

#9 posted 02-14-2009 05:25 PM

I am a woodworking teacher. I have a gory picture of my finger of when it hit the shaper. we don’t use shapers but use router tables excessively. When they first see the pic in the powerpoint, alot of them say “cool”. Then when I hold up my had, the quivers set in and reality hits. I explained that my injury happened as quickly as someone touching a pan on a stove and saying ouch that’s hot.

I want these pictures to set home reality to my kids. They keep wanting to take the guard off the TS because it gets in the way sometimes.

I love the brett guard system, it is one of the best to keep hands from getting to the blade. However it does take a little setup and adjustment each time.

email any pics to me, hopefully with a story to [email protected]


View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5339 days

#10 posted 02-14-2009 05:42 PM

I thought you were going to post some pics on LJ, I misunderstood.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 4963 days

#11 posted 02-14-2009 07:00 PM

About 20 years ago, I told one of my guys to cut up some 1×6 lumber so we could scab together some forming material for concrete. He grabbed a piece of lumber, laid it across his thigh, picked up the skilsaw and proceeded to cut the wood and his thigh down and into the bone. I had an ex Vietnam medic working as a curb builder and he was the only reason that man didn’t die on the jobsite. All safety devices are worthwhile, but the best one is on top of your neck. As always, bbqKing.

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View 0nemore's profile


14 posts in 4640 days

#12 posted 02-14-2009 08:37 PM


Was predrilling a board to mount a flight of stairs, when I went to set the drill down it fell. Went to grab it and “caught” it with my other hand, bit jabbed into my hand approx the way you see it then continued to fall to the floor ripping itself back out on the way. Threw a couple band aids on and finished installing the stairs. Home owner was a nurse and wanted me to go to ER, told her if I did that you wouldn’t have stairs to get to bdrms being late in the day already. Never did go to doc, all healed now, no loss of movement or feeling, never got infected. Guess I got lucky for once!

hand hand1

-- Brad, Kempeny Home Improvement

View PirateOfCatan's profile


57 posts in 4639 days

#13 posted 02-14-2009 08:51 PM

I still have all my fingers, but the left arm is not what she used to be. I think general workplace safety is just as important as safe tool usage. My injury happened two and a half years ago while I was trying to teach some interns how to use contact cement. When I went to put my clipboard down I fell three feet with my arm outstretched dislocating and fractured my shoulder (along with lots of other damage). Here are some pictures.

pre-reduction in ER

surgery one

removed hardware

I had barricades up all round the drop, accept for in one spot… When I was in still in my sling (two months) people would share their injury stories. One guy fell 80 feet while rock climbing and walked away with a less severe injury. It only takes a quick second for something to happen as Tooldad pointed out. Now I have 70% use of that arm and lots of pains doing simple tasks. Only three feet.

Hope this is of some use to others. I know I keep my x-rays in my locker to show students.

Safe woodworking to everyone.

-- P.O.C.

View rshep55's profile


70 posts in 4674 days

#14 posted 02-14-2009 10:46 PM

I think posting pictures of woodworking injuries is a good idea. Many of us have been woodworking for years and have become very comfortable around our power tools. I know I have “quickly” done somethings without bothering to use a pushstick or push block. One little cut..where’s the push block? oh well, it just one quick cut..and most of the time there’s no problem. Recently I was resawing a blank on my bandsaw and about five seconds before I pushed the tip of my thumb into the resaw blade, I had the thought ” you really should use a push stick”. I cut into the tip and got a four stich cut, luckely it was into the tip and not across the tip. I still have my whole thumb and hope the numb feeling will go away.
It easy to get complacent around your equipment when you use it day in and out, so the stories and pictures are a good reminder.

-- Ron,R.A.Shepard Woodworking,Massachusetts

View woodcravings's profile


6 posts in 4668 days

#15 posted 02-15-2009 05:25 AM

Thanks for sharing, TimberMan.

It’s a good thing I was sitting down when I decided to check out your photos. Back when I was a teenager, I took my younger brother to have some staples removed from his knee. I remember watching them pull out all the staples. The next thing I remember was a nurse feeling the back of my head for any injuries. My stomach didn’t care for the photos, but I’ll be buying some push blocks for my router table tomorrow.

I’ve recently had my first kick-back incident, but hadn’t thought too much of it. I just decided I’d feed the wood through the router bit more slowly. That was sufficient, but no need to take any chances.

-- Neal

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