Shop Injuries

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Forum topic by cpt_hammer posted 04-14-2008 03:08 PM 2099 views 1 time favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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133 posts in 4347 days

04-14-2008 03:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor tip

I was wondering if we can get a list of different type of injuries that people have received and sort of come up with some generic list of good shop safety practices. I remember most of the stuff from high school shop class, but that was over 15 years ago (I’m getting old fast).

I believe I have one of the craziest ones that I’ve heard. I was putting my Kreg pocket screw drill bit in my cordless drill and got my pinky caught between the drill bit and the single pocket jig. It took a good junk of my pinky about a 1/4” wide and 1/2” long and 1/4” deep. 4 stitches, tetnis shot by a cute nurse, xray by a cute radiology tech and some good pain drugs after 4 hours of waiting I’m better and will probably work some in the shop more tonight when I get home.

Here is my short list of safety tips:

1. Keep your work area clean – Doesn’t mean you can’t have a messy other areas of the shop
2. Keep body parts and clothing away from any moving parts, especially the sharp ones.
3. Unplug power tools when your done using them.
4. Place belt sanders and other rotating components on their side.
5. Chisel away from your body.
6. Wood glue works on fingers too.

Here’s my list of stupid injuries:
1. Busted knee cap by using a rolling desk chair instead of a step stool to attach a shelf on the wall.
2. Chunk out of my pinky while putting my drill bit in my drill.
3. Cut my hand by chiselling towards it.
4. Hit my thumb with a hammer (too many times to count or remember)
5. Several thousand slivers. I’m working on a chair made entirely of these
6. Sawdust in my eyes from not wearing eye protection other than my glasses.
7. Snorting sawdust from not using dust collectors

25 replies so far

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4400 days

#1 posted 04-14-2008 03:49 PM

I would also say something along the lines of making sure a workbench or tool is properly supported. Aside from the obvious possibility of part of it falling on you and crushing you, can you imagine if your table saw tipped toward you while on???? Eeek! That goes double for bench top tools not falling off or your bench.


-- He said wood...

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4522 days

#2 posted 04-14-2008 03:50 PM

Sounds like some sound advice.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4409 days

#3 posted 04-14-2008 04:36 PM

Also, don’t work in the shop while using pain meds!

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View HallTree's profile


5665 posts in 4302 days

#4 posted 04-14-2008 05:51 PM

Think ahead. After you start pushing the wood through is not the time to say to yourself “use pushsticks”, or “set up the outfeed”, or “clear the stuff off of the outfeed table”, or “set the blade up higher” or “put on the safety glass, dust mask, or ear plugs”, or ”.....................”

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4356 days

#5 posted 04-14-2008 06:03 PM

Nice practical post. It contains advice for all of us to heed.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4333 days

#6 posted 04-14-2008 07:13 PM

The worst injury ever was my ego when I screwed up some really expensive wood by making cuts that were off by too much.

-- making sawdust....

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 4276 days

#7 posted 04-14-2008 10:29 PM

Consider removing wedding and other rings while in the shop. I tried to life something way too heavy a few years ago and had to have a smashed wedding ring cut off my finger. Thankfully the finger was o.k.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 4497 days

#8 posted 04-14-2008 10:57 PM

My injury is one that you just don’t think about until it is too late. Always wear hearing protection. I expect some of you are saying, ’ yeah, it is getting harder to hear as we get older’. I am here to tell you that the routers, shop vac’s , planers, all that stuff is so loud that it will steal some of your hearing when you are using it. It is just like that too, it steals your hearing a little at a time. I am now deaf, completely, part of the problem was a genetic tendency towards deafness, but even though, no one else was affected this profoundly. You never know, always wear hearing protection. I now provide hearing protection for my friends and family visiting my shop. I also had cochlear implant surgery to hear. This is my biggest pet peeve and so I will now get down off of my soapbox. Just think about me sneaking in your shop to check to see if you are wearing hearing protection, or if you are letting something steal your hearing.

-- Berta in NC

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1253 posts in 4533 days

#9 posted 04-15-2008 02:21 AM

Well, I have to admit this is a new one for me. I’m in the final steps of completing my version of the new fangled workbench and was moving the top, back and forth over the leg assembly. It’s 2’ x 4’ x 2” thick with a 50 pound Craftsman woodworking vise on one end. Weighs about 125 lbs. Never actually picked it up , just moving, flipping it top to bottom, so I could get to the bottom and fit it to the leg assembly base.

Well, low and behold,, I hear a giant BOING sounds from my left elbow. Felt like a 110 volt shock. The arm went weak and I called it a night.

Turns out, I ruptured my bicep tendon, the tendon that connects my muscle to my elbow. Completely snapped like a broken rubber band. Apparently very common for guys between 40 and 60 (I’m 51). The Dr said he never see’s this type of injury with women, I guess the ladies are not stupid enough to move anything so darn heavy. So, at 51, I’ve blown a gasket!. Didn’t even know this could happen. The surgery is later today. 2 weeks in a sling then up to 8 weeks of physical therapy.

Hey older jocks, be careful in the shop. I thought this was heavy but not THAT heavy. Get some help moving stuff

-- Bob A in NJ

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 4338 days

#10 posted 04-15-2008 02:42 AM

I put a 16 penny framing nail from an air nailer through my left thumb into a ceiling joist while standing on top of a six foot ladder. Used the claw hammer to pull the nail out, washed the wound and poured peroxide on it. Put a bandaid on it and wrapped the whole thing up in duct tape. Went back and finished up the framing job making sure to keep left hand clear of the framing gun. Still have not given complete details to wife as to how it happened.

Had a near miss turning a big bowl. There was a void in the bowl that I didn’t notice and the thing blew apart on the lathe. I was wearing a full face shield that got shattered. Other than few minor cuts and having the scare of my life I was none the worse for the wear. From that day forward I always put on a full face shield before I turn the lathe on – even if I know it will be running only for a few moments.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 4248 days

#11 posted 04-15-2008 03:16 AM

I was doing a remodel job for my brother in law one year. I took a 15 inch long 2×4 and was ripping it down the centerline with the table saw blade angled at 45 degrees. I was standing on the right side of the saw and I reached around to grab the wood as it passed thru. Instead of grabbing its top and bottom, (yeah, you guessed it)- I grabbed the sides. This closed the kerf and pinched the blade, shooting that board like a missile. It also pulled my hand into the blade. I heard TING and thought, aw man, I connected. I looked at my right hand and the saw just barely cut the tip of my right middle finger. I was very, very lucky… and also very, very stupid. The finger healed with no stiches or loss in length (or even fingerprint).

Now, I use pushsticks, guards, jigs, featherboards, or anything else I can use to keep myself away from that big, sharp, spinning, metal wheel of death… lol.

Something else I use is a pressure switch. I have a on/off footpedal for my machines. It’s not the type that you press once and it’s on, press again and off. It’s the type that you have to keep your foot on to operate (like a sewing machine pedal). That way, if I get in a bind and can’t let go of the materal, I remove my foot and the machine stops. It’s handy as heck.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View coolbreeze's profile


104 posts in 4269 days

#12 posted 04-15-2008 04:27 AM

I like the wheel of death, Steve. That’s about what it is. I was cutting a piece of birch plywood, standing on the right side of the saw. I made the mistake of leaving part of my project sitting on the work area/cutoff table just far enough to keep the material from passing all the way through the blade. Well, after some contemplation, I had to reach to the left side for the switch while holding the board with my right. I stretched as far as I could with my left arm to make sure I didn’t get behind the blade (no way I’m doing that) which was apparently a little further than my arm was long. I tweaked the board just a hair and the blade picked it up quicker than Richard Gere picks up women and shot it right at my left forearm. I’m blessed because 1) I actually thought about it first 2) The board hit me flat side (it was rectangular) instead of at the corner & 3) God made me a skinny man, but I have forearms that are as hard as a rock. It was a pretty shade of purple the next day, though. I’ll tell you what, there’s never been anything on the table behind my saw when I’m ripping since.

-- Jason, AL

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 4248 days

#13 posted 04-15-2008 04:39 AM

Jason- I did stuff like that on the tablesaw when I first got it (I don’t know how I still have all my body parts). Then, my wife bought me that foot pedal… it really makes things a whole lot safer now… I feel a lot more “in control.”

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 4280 days

#14 posted 04-15-2008 04:41 AM

I once broke a small blood vessel in my eye with the ear piece of the the safety glasses I was putting on. Hurt like he!! but not a big deal except that every time someone saw my glaringly red eye for the next couple of days and asked what happened I had to tell them that I stuck myself in the eye putting on my “safety glasses” and thereby outing myself as the dimmest wit on the planet . . .

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 4313 days

#15 posted 04-15-2008 08:41 AM

My two bits:

- Make sure the floor area around you work tools are kept clear of anything you can trip over.
- Think before you cut. Stop and find a better and safer way to make that cut if you have any question about safety. The few times I’ve ever had a near accident with a tool was when I was attempting something I knew was stupid.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

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