Home Model Engine Machinist > The Tools and Tips > Safety > Poll: Shop Accidents
View Poll Results: Have you ever personally had or witnessed a serious shop accident?
Yes. Have had an accident. 9 22.50%
Yes. Witnessed an accident. 8 20.00%
Yes. Both have had and seen accidents. 11 27.50%
No. 12 30.00%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-02-2008, 10:19 PM   #1
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Default Poll: Shop Accidents

Let's see how many out there have had or witnessed a serious shop accident. Please do not include scraps and abrasions, minor cuts, bruises, minor burns, stubbed toes, hurt feelings, etc. To keep this poll related to the purposes of our hobby, please limit the positive responses to shop related events and discount the "neighbor hacked a toe off with a weed eater" type of event.

What qualifies:

  • Home shop accidents involving oneself, family or a guest
  • Workplace accidents (shop environment) to oneself, a coworker, or visitor

Accident criteria:
  • Injuries requiring medical attention
  • Injuries requiring more than ten days to substantially heal
  • Loss of a body part(s)
  • Injuries causing loss of movement in an extremity
  • Fatalities

This poll is set to run for 14 days.

Always work safe!!!


There is never enough time to do it right.Â* But there is always time to do it over!

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Old 07-02-2008, 10:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Poll: Shop Accidents

Seen 2 nasty accidents and have been lucky enough to avoid personal injury myself.

The first was in college when a lecturer lost 2 fingers from his right hand on one of those reciprocating shapers, he did this after delivering a lecture on the safe use of the machine!!

Second was at my fathers garage (does this qualify?) when one of the mechanics was fooling around with a 1/2lb hammer, he was pretending to take a mighty swing at a car (bright guy huh?), as he raised the hammer behind his shoulder it hit the foreman square in the face. The poor guy had many many stitches and a shattered jaw/cheekbone. It's really difficult to imagine how much blood there was and as far as I know he never worked again.

With the recent debate on safety on the site it's really difficult to see why anyone would actively complain about a few safety footnotes at the end of a post.

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Old 07-02-2008, 11:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Poll: Shop Accidents

Since everyone is sharing. I have one that I don't like to talk about much. In 94 when I was in school to learn to become a Machinist. There was a girl there. She was running a 13" lathe. I think they had 6" chucks on them? Some of you probably have lathes this size or bigger? They aren't that big. She was threading a shaft between centers. The lathe dog snagged her shop coat. To leave out the messy details, She lived. Barely. They stopped counting at over 400 stitches. There were many more. Mainly on her face and head. Her shop coat and shirt were wrapped so tightly around the chuck and her part, you couldn't unwind them. They had to be cut from the lathe with a razor knife. Me being 19, This was a tough pill to swallow. It happened so fast that no one really noticed...... A guy part was across the shop said that he heard a weird noise. He looked over and she wasn't by her running lathe, which was a NO, NO there at school. He went to shut it off for her and she was lying on the floor.

Please be safe, Wes


Wesley P


A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright.

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Old 07-02-2008, 11:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Poll: Shop Accidents

we had some lathes in my high school made by a company in the u.k. called kerry, they had thread on chucks with a lock ring. the lock ring would lock the threaded chuck on even if the spindle was in reverse. well long story short the lock ring was not engaged and when 2 guys in my class decided to run the lathe 2000 rpm's forward and quickly throw it in to reverse the chuck unthreaded and fell on the floor (going 2000 rpm). it spun on the concrete floor for a few seconds and then went shooting across the shop and went right through the block wall lodging is self into the bottom of a locker out in the hall way.
no one was hurt but the potential was there for a much more grim story.



the northern chuck

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Old 07-02-2008, 11:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Poll: Shop Accidents


There is an underlying cause for every one of them.

More safety, less accidents.

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Old 07-03-2008, 12:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Poll: Shop Accidents

Let's see... Having worked as an emergency medical tech and rescue type, how long of a list would you like?

The human torch
Shot charcoal lighter fuel from a can onto an already burning outdoor grill. 85% burn coverage when the can exploded. Six weeks agony before becoming fatal.

Bird man...
The guy who got a wee bit smoked up and forgot to turn left. He parked his Honda Civic in the top of a Redwood tree . No injury at all .....until he opened the door and stepped out. Yup.... landed about 60 feet straight down. Needed to work on his landing technique, once his legs were pieced back together.

St Vitus Dancer...
Made the mistake of falling into the final power amplifiers tank of a 4 mega-watt long range coastal defense radar. He suffered internal burns to his organs, his hair turned white a week later and his whole nervous system was a total wreck. He had no control over the constant body twitch. He lived.... sort of... but medical retirement at 27 is no picnic.

The man with one jaw....
Decided that cutting rubber tires off aluminum hospital bed wheels was too much trouble. His method as to hold the casting while a baling press cracked them as the press head passed by the top of the machine's door. He managed to crack between 20 - 30 wheels before one of them removed his lower jaw from his face. He lived.... but I hear his love life is a wee bit off these days. I also hear that 20 years later he dreams of solid foods in his sleep.

The human donut....
Decided to air up a newly assembled truck tire...after it was bolted on the truck. The 25 pound iron retainer ring was not seated and blew off. It basically Die Cut the poor beggar, mid abdomen. DOA before he hit the ground.

Three separate fatalities,
Each one proving that the "Machine Starts Automatically" warning sign is telling the stark truth. All three were basically pureed by total press face pressures ranging from 70,000 to 180,000 pounds.

The Human Pekinese
He thought filling old fuel tanks with water would make them safe to cut with a cutting torch. When the end of the 1000 gallon tank hit him, it broke every bone on the front of his body. The plastic surgeons were eventually able to get his eyes located back on the front of his face... almost.

The Darwin effect took some of those guys safely out of the gene pool. The others are still free to breed.... if they are still capable. Just remember... their children could be one of the guys working right next to you.....eh?

If you need more examples.... just ask. I've certainly seen more than my share. I personally don't think there can be too many safety tips.



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Old 07-03-2008, 07:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Poll: Shop Accidents

I am thankful that I have never witnessed a shop accident, bad or otherwise; if I see questionable shop practice in my vicinity the perpertrators are given a full rebrief! (Perks of being a Warrant Officer). That said being in the Service I do hear of some nasty accidents involving heavy machinery (not necessarily machine shop) and the common thread running through most of the stories is that the correct Standard Operating Procedure had been infringed in some way, i.e. safety interlocks gagged, incorrect sequence of operation, guards removed, incorrect PPE worn. This is often done to make a job quicker/easier due to time constraints.

As John(BS) said accidents don't happen they are caused.

Sometimes (possibly most often) the injured party has no idea that the safety protocol has been infringed and happens to be an innocent bystander or involved in the process but not in charge of the safety aspect.

IMHO Risk assessments shouldn't be a fusty document found at work whan something goes wrong to prove that the wrong process was followed, but a constant questioning process by an operator whether what he or she is doing is correct and safe not only for them but whomever is in the 'fallout' zone.



Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather a broadside skid in, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming 'Wow, What a Ride!'

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Old 07-03-2008, 12:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Poll: Shop Accidents

I have never been in a machine shop, but have observed a number of near misses when working on our Jeeps:

1) Guy setting his frayed jeans on fire while welding

2) Guy trying to drill a piece of steel plate with a drill press and the piece not clamped down.

3) Steel splinter near the eye from using an angle grinder without a face shield.

Most of the offroad guys I work with are pretty safety conscious though. I do see pics of accidents waiting to happen, often when using hi-lift jacks instead of a floor jack and jackstands to raise a vehicle.

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Old 07-03-2008, 12:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Poll: Shop Accidents

I've got another one. Funny how I can't remember all the minor accidents.
You are not supposed to hit hardened steel with a hammer. I was still fresh but knew better. I had grabbed a steel parallel probably 1/2" x 1" x 6" to help tap a key out of a part. Then corner chiped It was about the size of a large grain of sand. It went about 1/2" or more under my skin ( the soft area below the inside of the elbow) I barely felt it but It was squirting a small stream of blood out and had to let it push itself out was the pain. It could of shot across the shop and got an eye .


"The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions."

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Old 07-03-2008, 02:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Poll: Shop Accidents


Talking of jacking up vehicles, a chap that lived about 100 yards from me had a bit of an accident a couple of months ago, he was working under his people carrier that was supported on bricks.
They police and rescue reckon it wasn't the weight of the vehicle sitting on top of him that put his lights out, it was the fact that his displaced lungs tried to make it up his throat and out of his mouth. I gather not a pretty sight.

A truly stupid and unnecessary accident.


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