table saw injury

Just stopped to see a friend whom on Sunday took off the tip of one finger and cut his thumb from the tip to his wrist. Don't want to sound corny but lets all take a moment to think. this was easily avoided.
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wrote:

I wish him fast healing!
Thanks for the heads-up.
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Been there, done that, and I wish him a manageable recovery. But uh, how could it have been easily avoided? What happened?
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Bob,
This question is in all seriousness, and is based on safety articles I've read in the past.
Did your friend have a premonition just prior to the accident that the procedure he was performing on the saw was not what he should be doing? I ask because I had an accident years ago, and it was probably the best thing that happened to me. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't wish an accident on anyone. And, I can say in hindsight it was a good thing as I sustained no permanent damage. But, the sense that one is doing something wrong and doesn't back away from the task seems to be a common thread in many tool accidents.
Jeff
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Well said Jeff. Until you actually have an accident you are really kinda clueless as to how many ways an accident can happen. Safety rules that come with every new piece of equipment covers about 1% of the possible scenarios. There are some that believe that because they are careful and practice all the safety rules that nothing could ever happen to them. I truly hope that they never have a serious accident but to be that naive is in itself dangerous. No one knows all the possibilities. I lost half my thumb about 20 years ago and after examining what went wrong I came to the conclusion that I had no idea what I did wrong. 1 year later I almost had that same accident again and only then did I realize what actually happened. I had been doing serious wood working for about 10 year prior to the accident.
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inexperience a big factor but he was cutting tapered shims when a piece kicked back on him and his hand went forward into the blade. no guard or kick back pawls and he had the shim between the blade and the fence. I always try to cut the shim etc to the outside where it can go free and not bind up

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Thanks for the follow up.
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