Woodworking Accident (another's) and its Psychological Effect on me

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At Christmas I got wind of an accident that happened to the brother of an old national guard friend of mine who I have not spoken to in some time. While working late at night, tired, his brother cut off the fingers on one hand on his table saw. Apparantly he had been turning the saw off and on and due to fatigue forgot to turn it off. I believe 4.5 fingers were cutoff, and he has since had a number of surgeries to reattach them.
I can think of no more sober an accident to someone you know in passing to really make you re-evaluate shop safety. What I am finding is that I am to some degree scared to work on my table saw now. I have always been a safe hobbyist, but I just cant help but feel scared. I don't think this is normal, but I thought I might see if you all had any advice. Thanks in advance.
-Neuromancer
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It's smart to get the heebie-jeebies about power tools and their digit removal capacity from time to time. Just don't obsess over it.
djb
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"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 20:36:35 -0600, Dave Balderstone

Right.
Respect and understanding the operation keeps the parts intact. Fear causes accidents.
It's the same while driving, flying, or wooddorking. Ever been in a car with frozen, white-knuckled driver? <G>
Barry
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I believe fear can _prevent_ accidents; fear forces you to consider what you are about to do, and stimulates you to learn more about the situation. Fear of failure drives the performing artist to practice, practice, practice his/her craft. Fear of dying drives the pilot to learn all he can about his airplane, and the flying environment. Fear of falling motivates the climber to develop the skill and knowledge needed to prevent falls, or to allow a safe fall.
Panic, where fear has taken over the mind, is when poor judgements are made and accidents take place. Panic is more often than not the result of poor preparation. Someone who fears a spinning TS blade is someone who will learn techniques to keep his/her fingers out of the way.
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It's a normal reaction. You'll get over it, but won't forget. Learn from his misfortune and treat your tools with the respect they deserve. They don't care what they cut, cutting is what they were built for.
I had a jointer accident years ago. I went back to using it within days of the incident. Yeah, I was anxious, but with proper procedure and a good set of push blocks, the work was done. I've since gotten an even larger jointer. I'm always aware of the danger of the machines if I should get careless. None of this has stopped me from making things, I'm just more aware and careful. So you will be.
On 18 Jan 2004 18:21:33 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pop.net (Neuromancer) wrote:

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Fear and respect kind of go hand in hand (no pun intended). My father sent the blade of a chop saw through his hand a few years ago and we were all a little skittish of it after that. Try turning your fear into respect and knowledge and you'll feel better about it.
Jim
(Neuromancer)

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Sometimes fear is good. As long as you don't let it control you, fear is nature's way of telling you to BE CAREFUL.                             Mark
Neuromancer wrote:

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I have seen two instances of guys accidently letting a skil saw kick back on them, cutting to the bone in their upper right thighs - scares the shit out of me to this day, and believe me, when I HAVE to use a skil saw, I always, ALWAYS recall those two guys, and then proceed with caution.
manzanar

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How did the saw get his thigh ? Did the guard not snap back fast enough ?
--
The software said it ran under Windows 98/NT/2000, or better.
So I installed it on Linux...
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Happened to me when I was 12 or 13 years old. Still have the scar in my left thigh. I've had some close calls with my Unisaw too. Nicked the tip of my left index finger at the nail. HURT!!! (Lots of nerves in that area). It healed up over a period of months and you can't see where it happened, but it's still a little sensitive. I was doing some repeating cuts on the Unisaw about 15 years ago and suddenly realized my fingers were getting too close to the blade.
It takes DISCIPLINE, but there is no substitute for a very healthy respect for that machine you're using and a constant awareness of where your body parts are, relative to the blade. And SAFETY GLASSES: I was trimming the rough edge on some ash recently when a splinter nailed my right ear. When I pulled it out, it drew blood. It passed less than 3" from my eye. I ALWAYS wear industrial safety glasses around machines. No exceptions.
Clarke
snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

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Did that in high school shop about 30 years ago. 3 or 5 stitches (I forget) and I'm aware of the scar every day.
Never got my flesh that close to a sharp spinning thing again.
Chisel scars are a different story, however.
djb
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You should use this information to help keep yourself on guard. In the skydiving community, we do this with incident reports, fatal or not. Tom ne uromancer wrote:

Someday, it'll all be over....
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Tom
I guess the non-fatal skydiving accidents are sorta rare <vbg!!>
John
On 19 Jan 2004 04:19:54 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comEDY (Tom) wrote:

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Not at all. Lots of broken legs, ankles, vertebrae, etc. And we hope to learn from them all. Tom Someday, it'll all be over....
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Tom said:

Some will, many won't.
Dave Miller
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Like some others have said, it's probably a good reminder.
My hand-me-down table saw took a couple of fingertips from my grandpa, and that's never far from my mind. I'm fairly new at this, but I sure hope I don't grow complacent over time.
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In rec.woodworking snipped-for-privacy@pop.net (Neuromancer) wrote:

Incidentally, I was told my an EMT that is trained to secure detached limbs, the proper way to do this, should anyone need to.
1. Wrap the fingers in gauze and place in a ziplock baggie 2. Fill another baggie with ice and place the first baggie in the second. 3. Hit the emergency room.
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Bruce wrote:

I would add to this that if you are near a major metropolitan area call 911, instead of going directly to the hospital. My wife called 911 which sent an ambulance who in turn called in a state police helicopter that whisked me to a hand center 50 miles away in Baltimore that I didn't know existed. (took less than 15 minutes) I like to joke that if I'd gone to the local hospital, I'd probably have a hook right now.
--
Donnie Vazquez
Sunderland, MD
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 15:18:22 -0500, Donnie Vazquez

If you asked them nicely, they might have given you a push stick instead.
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snipped-for-privacy@pop.net (Neuromancer) writes:

How fortunatley small that "tired" accident was! Usually you hear about the kind "Bus driver went to sleep and killed a lot of semi-innocent passengers when hitting the lorry in front". Working when tired should be considered a criminal ofence, especially on the part of the employer who allowed it to happen!
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Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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