Lathe accident, Tool organizer, bad idea.

Discussion in 'Mistakes, Blunders and Boo Boos' started by Scota4570, May 22, 2011.

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  1. May 22, 2011 #1

    Scota4570

    Scota4570

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    A good friend hurt himself very badly. He has many many years of experience as a machinist and gunsmith. He has a wonderfull shop.

    The machine is a big Lablond, 15x56 or there abouts. He has a phase changer in the shop to run it.

    He made a magnetic system to hold his lathe tool holders. It was located behind the lathe and above. He was making a cut and reached over the spindle to put a tool away. The work was rough enough to grab his sleeve. The work wound his arm up around it several times. It pulled his head down to the chuck and cut off part of his ear. Just then the circut breaker kicked off. If he had been running faster the inerta would have killed him. If running slower the torque would have killed him.

    Finding himself alone and wrapped up in the machine he was able to kick the clutch petal and unwind himself. He was able to call 911 and get help.

    He had several compound fractures of the bones in his arm and his hand was mangled. This thumb is ruined. The arm healed up pretty well. Modern medicine amazes me. He is still getting around and making lots of great projects and having fun.

    Gads, It makes me queasy to write this.


     
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  2. May 23, 2011 #2

    steamer

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    NO long sleeve shirts,rings, or loose clothing......WORD!


    Check out a thread called "Safety is an attitude" as it talks about this situation....and lets not go into the glove discussion....they don't belong anywhere near a lathe.


    Dave
     
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  3. May 25, 2011 #3

    Swede

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    I HATE reading about accidents like this, because we can all see it in our minds.

    I don't allow cloth wipes, towels, anything near my machine tools. I use paper towels, toilet paper is good for wiping oil and such. Anything that is frail enough to tear and shred before pulling a part of you into a machine is fine.

    And of course, gloves... I actually do occasionally use them - but they are the purple nitrile gloves you see the airport and medical people wear. They too will fall apart before any damage is done.
     
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  4. May 25, 2011 #4

    mklotz

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    I'm very sorry about what happened to this fellow but, nevertheless, I have to make one comment.

    A tool rack behind the lathe such that he has to lean across the spinning work to reach the rack? Give me a break.

    If you're interested in safety, you'll immediately see how bad an idea this has to be. Installing that rack wasn't a spur of the moment thing. He had plenty of time to reflect on its eventual use and the potential for danger it represented.
     
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  5. May 25, 2011 #5

    Cbowler

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    Thank you for bringing this accident to the groups attention. I have seen many photos of tooling shelves installed behind lathes and had that arrangement myself. I will be moving shop in the coming months and had planned on installing a similar arrangment but will defintley not, having read your post.
    I hope your friend is OK.
    Colin
     
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  6. May 25, 2011 #6

    dieselpilot

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    I decided against a shelf over the lathe and put everything at the tailstock end of the lathe. Reading that made me quiver.
     
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  7. May 25, 2011 #7

    Foozer

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    Left is Death and Life is Right.

    Everything for my little lathe is out by the tail stock end. It only takes a moment of distraction for an injury to occur, as age creeps up these moments seem to occur more often. Developing habits that keep the body parts away from rotating objects should one of them senior moments occur, should keep all them fingers right where they belong.

    Robert

    Edit: Think I'll add a land line phone near the tools. just in case.
     
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  8. May 25, 2011 #8

    kvom

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    Another reason I try to use my collet chuck whenever possible. Much safer than chucks with jaws.
     
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  9. May 25, 2011 #9

    Troutsqueezer

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    Another reason why I'm sticking with my HF mini lathe. It can hurt you but probably won't break your arm or kill you.
     
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  10. May 26, 2011 #10

    steamer

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    I have a "Big" lathe...though it's small compared to some ( 12") ...Yes it could kill you...

    But after having it, I wouldn't want to trade it down. I need to respect it what it can do and behave appropriately. Life is full of risks..but I think I'm safer running my 12 x 39 Logan than during my commute to work every day.
    ::)

    Dave

     
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  11. May 26, 2011 #11

    Captain Jerry

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    When I see a post title like this, I cringe but I force myself to read it. I don't fear my tools but I am aware of the need to be aware of what can happen. Here is a potential problem that I am trying to deal with.

    We don't talk much about automatic actions. On my 9x20 lathe, there are three things that I do with my left hand.

    1. Turn the Start/Stop switch.

    2. Pull the belt tension lever to change speed.

    3. Grab the chuck key ( suspended by a counterweight above and left of the headstock).

    With enough repetition, these things become automatic. When my left hand gets an alert to do something, it sometimes gets the message garbled. I have become aware of this and know that I must check to be sure it's doing the right thing. The biggest danger that I see is that if I want to change the belt, my right hand is probably headed for the chuck to roll the spindle a bit to assist the belt change. If my left hand decides to go for the start switch instead, I could be in a world of hurt. Hasn't happened yet and WON'T!!

    Be careful out there.

    Jerry



















     
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  12. May 27, 2011 #12

    Tin Falcon

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    sounds like several safety rules were violated. that is often the case when someone gets hurt. while thew smaller machines are well smaller . they are still designed to cut metal/ Flesh and bone is a bit softer material . and while a 7x may not break an arm i would not want to wear a 80lb lathe because it caught a piece of loose clothing.
    Unfortunately it is usually the journeymen that get careless. The new guy still has a healthy dose of fear and respect for the machines. and the master has been around long enough to know that no one is immune to an accident and we all need to remember
    be ever vigilant.
    Tin
     
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  13. Jun 4, 2011 #13

    Scota4570

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    It was not the chuck that grabbed him, it was the surface of the work. It was rough enough to grab his sweathshirt, like velcro would. It was a cold morning. He was wearing a sweatshirt. I know I do not wait for shirtsleeve weather to work in my shop. It was a freak accident that, in hindsite, was preventable. He has over 50-years experience. My point in posting it was about having a neat organized tool rack on the splash guard behind the machine is a poor idea.

    Everyone, think ahead, don't rush, and stay safe.
     
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  14. Dec 8, 2012 #14

    Krutch

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    I know this post is old and I'm new to this site.
    But this reminds me of the guy in the auto shop next to where I worked as a machinist some years ago. He was the owner of the auto repair shop and was in there alone refinishing a crankshaft. He got caught in the machine and it wound his arm up. He was able to stop the machine but had to cut himself away from it to call for help. We, at the shop next door, were not aware of his predicument until the ambulance showed up. I bearly knew the guy only from seeing him in around the area. It stuck with me thinking of him cutting his arm off to free himself. My understanding was there was not much left to cut to get free. It was said he used a pair of side cutter pliers to do it.
    I try to be aware anytime I work at the lathe. But I do catch myself taking chances from time to time. Could happen at the mill too!
     
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  15. Dec 9, 2012 #15

    dman

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    in the airforce safety briefings are a big thing. and you also hear stories from other shops since in the military we tend to move around. it seems two relatively common accidents are getting a sleeve caught in a machine (not so common in the military since we must be in short sleeves and wear safety glasses but we do see civilian accidents in the safety briefings) and files driving through forearms because they have no handle. i have seen a photo that circulated around to put the fear of death into us about safety of a guy runnign a lathe in many layers of clothing and everything from his left arm to his neck and much of his clothing was wrapped up in the wokpiece before the spindle stopped. very disturbing.

    the file in the forearm i have heard both from witnesses and in safety briefings similar stories. the results are usually similar where a 8" or 10" file gets caught in the jaws and the end drives into the forearm near the wrist and either breaks a bone or lands between the two bones. the entry hole is small and the skin stretches, the file gets completely engulfed in the forearm and it ends up looking like a small wound and the arm is very swollen as if broken. the person usually passes out from pain or shock and is found by coworkers in a pool of blood who are unaware of the nature of the accident. just looks like a cut and a broken arm x-rays at the hospital reveal a file deep in the arm which is when they finally put the pieces together of what happened....
     
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  16. Dec 9, 2012 #16

    starnovice

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    I have a friend that insists on reaching over the head stock to file on the lathe. I called him on it and he insisted he has never had any problems do it that way. I replied, well I guess you will stop doing it that way when you do have a problem with it.

    Pat
     
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  17. Dec 9, 2012 #17

    gus

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    No matter how we stressed safe practice, there will some stubborn guys who imagine themselves to be accident free. I have seen Power Brushing wrapping up one worker's jeans.Lucky for him same machine stalled and further damage. Other than minor bruises,he was OK. He was told not to carry a switched on power brush to next job on the line. After this incident he was my best safety champion.
    I have seen cut-off disc shattered to pieces at my sub-contractor's shop.Told him,he has to clean up all his unsafe practices and audited before re-instatement to our supplier list as I would not risk my QA men in his shop.
    Chuck keys stuck into a stationary lathe is another accident waiting to happen.
     
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  18. Dec 9, 2012 #18

    Dirtfan1981

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    Yeah a lathe or mill can be pretty dangerous no matter how much experience. Honestly i would never put lathe or mill tool holders any where you would have to reach over or around the spindles or chucks. even at work we have carts and a rack for chuck keys and stuff off to the side. nothing gets set on head stock just because we had a employee was running a lathe and a drill rolled off and hit the chuck and threw it across the shop. missed him by inches. Doesnt pertain to home shops but at where i work if you left the chuck key in the chuck and walk off when your done it is a automatic write up.
     
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  19. Dec 9, 2012 #19

    dman

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    first thing i learned in tech school was nothing goes on the headstock and yeah a chuck key in the spindle was a write up. related to that my supervisor told me of when he was an airman he switched on the shops 16" standard modern lathe with the chuck key in and knocked himself in the chest. i bet that was a surprise.
     
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  20. Dec 9, 2012 #20

    mwilkes

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    I appreciate the "Chuck Key Never Leaves Your Hand" rule. Left a chuck key in a drill press chuck. Switched it on. Managed not to kill anybody. Amazing how frightening an otherwise friendly and familiar machine can suddenly become...
     
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