You can win $1.5 million! A bit on woodworking safety.

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Blog entry by Stevinmarin posted 03-22-2010 12:49 AM 3124 reads 4 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been meaning to talk about shop safety for a while. The recent news that a jury awarded a guy $1.5 million prompted me to do so.

I feel that safety is not the ultimate goal in woodworking. Creating something out of wood is first. I recommend reading Mike Rowe's article about Safety First.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

37 comments so far

View mhein68's profile


62 posts in 3406 days

#1 posted 03-22-2010 01:00 AM

very funny.. Love the flashlight warning!!! And I agree ….I thought the girl iin that ad was cute!

-- Mike, Southern IL

View Lloyd Davies's profile

Lloyd Davies

116 posts in 3712 days

#2 posted 03-22-2010 01:03 AM

some people are just idiots

-- Northern California

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3711 days

#3 posted 03-22-2010 01:06 AM

Steve, you are hilarious! I loved the rant.

Self-appointed safety tsars must die!!!!

View DigitalFabber's profile


95 posts in 3544 days

#4 posted 03-22-2010 02:13 AM

It is allllllll true. This is my fear, and I seem to remember hearing somewhere that this happened. My fear is that the insurance companies are going to start saying “Oh you didn’t have a Saw Stop … well sorry that injury isn’t covered.” Get’s into that silly existing technology crap.

-- Factory in a box ...

View TheDane's profile


5644 posts in 4049 days

#5 posted 03-22-2010 02:42 AM


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View canadianchips's profile


2626 posts in 3383 days

#6 posted 03-22-2010 03:21 AM

Nice video. Well said. Safety is a concern. In some cases in the construction industry “SAFETY is actually causing bigger accidents”. Yes I said it ! Example is the roofing industry. People are relying on the “SAFETY equipment to prevent accidents” Common Sense prevents accidents !!!!! People that cannot walk on the level ground should NOT try to go on a roof, be connected with a lanyard, and expected to do the job. I do not want to be on the roof with these FOOLS, no matter how I am tied on ! When I attended Cabinet makers school it was accident free since it began. The year I went, the same “STOOGE cut his thumb in half, before that even healed he PLANED his little finger OFF. ” I often wondered if they passed him ?” Point is, that man should NOT have been in a carreer that required———————-COMMON SENSE.
I wonder if the person that sued ryobi for the saw incident was related to the fool that drank the scalding cup of coffee at McDonalds ? Safety is Important,

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Ryan Brown's profile

Ryan Brown

72 posts in 3576 days

#7 posted 03-22-2010 04:16 AM

Nice. You remind me of Dr. House. But in a wood shop.

There is an entire generation of kids growing up who feel that they do not have to have any personal responsibility. Believe me, my wife teaches nearly 200 of them every year.

The table saw incident and jury ruling further shows that people don’t take personal responsibility for their own mistakes, no matter how stupid.

I cut my wrist open when I was putting a steel shed together and had to get 6 stitches. I would never consider suing Sears or Arrow. I’ve had a Phillips bit skip out of a screw head and land with the weight of me pushing down land on my knuckle and twist the skin off. Maybe my hand shouldn’t have been so close. I didn’t sue DeWalt or the company that made the screws. I’ve shot finishing nails and brads through my fingertips on several occasions. Never bothered to have a lawyer call Porter Cable because I should have known better. Utility knife across the knuckles? My fault again, not Stanley’s.

The lessons here? Pay attention to what you are doing. Take responsibility for your own safety. And CA glue is a great alternative to a band-aid – especially the quick set variety. I always keeps some in my first aid kits.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem. Roanoke, VA

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3494 days

#8 posted 03-22-2010 04:28 AM

Steve you get +100 internets for this video :)

I’m all for minimizing risk and improving safety, but some people take it to ridiculus extremes. The best safety measure is to use common sense and pay attention to what you’re doing.

My last job I worked in stock/receiving, after several accidents, the store actually required (not that I ever did it) that we use the safety style box cutters rather than a regular utility knife. In case you’ve never used one of these, it has this big metal guard next to the blade so that it becomes very difficult to cut yourself. Or the thing you’re actually trying to cut…pretty f’n useless IMHO. Sure I’ve nicked myself a bunch of times with a regular knife, a few times pretty badly…but only when I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing, and I was the one to blame, not the knife!

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4279 days

#9 posted 03-22-2010 05:01 AM

there are entire generations of people who are perfectly tuned in teaching “stupid”




hang the portly bastard from the highest mast

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3577 days

#10 posted 03-22-2010 07:05 AM

Well they passed health care today, so I guess your on the wrong side of the fence Steve. Looks like if we don’t buy Goverment Health care, the IRS, will run our a__es down and throw us in prison. They are after all just looking after our safety.

Your points are well thought out, but 1.5 mil judgement dosen’t cover the expense of the big gun lawyers so were probably safe for a few years. Liked the flashlight warning, I have that flashlight and never bothered to read the warning, and thankyou for telling me what the red line on my miter saw is for, It’s good to know it’s exactly a foot from the blade.

You probably look to much like House to get your own wood working show…but I’ll be watching for it anyway!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View jsheaney's profile


141 posts in 4374 days

#11 posted 03-22-2010 07:50 AM

I don’t know anything about the actual lawsuit and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of details immediately available. Maybe the case had merit and maybe it didn’t. I’m just sorry to see all the knee jerk reactions against the lawsuit. These are different times. It used to be that boys were trained on this stuff in HS shop class. It used to be that these tools were expensive enough that you probably had the good sense to know what you were getting into before plunking down the money. These tools today are sold in big box stores for so little money that they are impulse buys for people that have no business whatsoever owning such a tool. And there’s no reason for them to think otherwise.

It is wrong to think it’s common sense that power tools are dangerous. It’s commons sense to people that have experience using power tools. It isn’t common sense to people that sit at a desk all day and then see a tablesaw at Lowe’s one aisle away from the paint brushes. It isn’t common at all and these companies should not be pushing these tools on an unsuspecting consumer.

Furthermore, these really cheap saws are crap and the manuals suck. They are accidents waiting to happen. And they do happen. The statistics on tablesaw injuries are abysmal.

You should read up on the SawStop inventors and what they went through. These manufacturers didn’t reject the technology because it was expensive. The truth is that if they did adopt the technology it would get a lot cheaper and it would be affordable. The truth is that they didn’t want to create the perception that the tools without the technology were dangerous. They want people that have no business operating a tablesaw to pick one up at Home Depot on a whim.

And lastly, please don’t use the coffee at MacDonalds story to slam frivolous litigation. That lawsuit is generally regarded as a shining example of the system working properly. There are plenty of details on that story and you should look them up.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

View LeeG's profile


40 posts in 3407 days

#12 posted 03-22-2010 09:30 AM

Good video. People need to be willing to take responsibility for chains of events that they have initiated. If something is defective, that is one thing. Poor judgment or poor work practices are quite another. Motor vehicles are a good example. When they first became available, there were no driver’s licenses. It wasn’t until the 1940’s and 1950’s that it became common in the US for drivers to pass some sort of test before being given a license. Do we want to start requiring similar education for table saws? Band saws? Chisels?

Freedom of action, and responsibility for those actions have to be intertwined. When people no longer are willing to take that responsibility, they almost always lose some degree of freedom of choice. We live in a more or less free market society. If people value something, there is usually a company that will produce a product for that market. If someone chooses to remain uneducated, then chooses to do something that can potentially harm themselves, then why should someone else bear the cost?

If I hopped on a motorcycle, and wiped out going around a corner, should I be able to sue the manufacturer because they didn’t include ‘training wheel technology’ in their product?

-- Lee in Phoenix

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3586 days

#13 posted 03-22-2010 04:43 PM

Steve; Great video. I agree, the only thing we have to fear is the tool behind the tool!!!

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View BOB67CAM's profile


269 posts in 3458 days

#14 posted 03-22-2010 08:23 PM

all i can say is YOU ROCK!
excellent speech!

-- if you dont have it, build it, especially when its a stupid idea

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 3636 days

#15 posted 03-22-2010 08:45 PM

living is hazardous to you’re health – who do we sue about that?

-- -erik & christy-

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