169Views30Replies

Author Options:

Heath and Safety Flag Answered

I think it would be a good idea to add a new flag category: Health and Safety, to cover instructables whose use could cause bodily harm or have unintended consequences.

Many ideas pass through here, some are not as well thought out as others, and some are just dangerous and unsafe.

Discussions

0
None
steveastrouk

Reply 5 years ago

You guys aren't (or weren't) too hot on having riving knives on saws. Are they used now ?

0
None
ringaisteveastrouk

Reply 5 years ago

I don't think it was a dislike so much as the expense of buying a saw that had one. Until recently, riving knives were a feature found only on high-end tablesaws. At least in North America.

There are some saws for which you can purchase a retrofit riving knife. Unfortunately, mine wasn't one of them. I relied on the integral splitter and anti-kickback pawls on my blade guard.

Many newer tablesaws have incorporated riving knives.

0
None
steveastroukringai

Reply 5 years ago

I know for many years it was illegal to import American tablesaws, because of the lack of the knives I think, as well as no blade brakes. I toyed with importing a nice Delta saw once. In the end I have a own-label sliding-bed Cast iron saw from a UK source which is absolutely rock solid, and a joy to use.

0
None
ringaisteveastrouk

Reply 5 years ago

Man, that must be sweet. I lusted after a sliding table for quite sometime, but space and money always win: I had neither! Now that the SIL has the tablesaw, I have so much more space in my shop. I filled it with a new lathe and a bit more storage. I'm still trying to squeeze out some storage space for drying bowls and not having a lot of luck doing so.

0
None
steveastroukringai

Reply 5 years ago

It was under the equivalent of 1000 USD too, If I recall correctly.

0
None
ringaisteveastrouk

Reply 5 years ago

Riving knives rock. I wish there were a way to retro-fit one to all tablesaws.

0
None
steveastroukringai

Reply 5 years ago

I think they're mandatory here. We can't use dado blades without a lot of messing around either.

0
None
gmoon

5 years ago

Another perspective: once the site starts categorizing / labeling projects as safe or unsafe, they open a huge liability hole--what if someone is injured making something not deemed unsafe?

I.E., projects not labeled "unsafe" would by implication be "safe."

There's some legal precedence here. One of my climbing buddies is a law professor, and he's explained (patiently) that if someone fences in natural waterways and rock walls, and/or adds signage ("Climbing not Allowed", "No swimming"), the property owner is MORE liable, not less. Sometimes acknowledging safety issues makes you responsible for policing them.

It's a complex issue. Wrapped up in the mix is the concept of "attractive nuisance" and all that entails...

0
None
ringaigmoon

Reply 5 years ago

I won't comment on lawyers or people who associate with them. I must abide by the be nice policy.

0
None
Kiteman

5 years ago

Did you try talking to the author privately?

In the situation you describe, a simple re-wording would have fixed the issues.

However, in that same situation, anybody in a position to use equipment as powerful as you describe would have enough training that they wouldn't be trying to prevent kickbacks with an old brush (any tool capable of throwing a lump of wood out at "hundreds of miles an hour" would be in a commercial or educational situation, and use of the tools would be strictly regulated. In my school, for instance, I had to go away on a training course before I was even allowed to take the covers off our large tools, never mind switch them on).

0
None
ringaiKiteman

Reply 5 years ago

Anyone can walk into Home Depot or Lowes and walk out with a tablesaw capable of causing such an accident.

0
None
Kitemanringai

Reply 5 years ago

(True, but not quite to the extreme you describe - exaggerating a danger can lead to people ignoring your advice.)

Often, as I said, these issues can be fixed by discussion, without having to resort to official measures such as flagging.

If you [ie, anybody reading this] does not want to approach an author directly, or the author refuses to listen, then you can approach one of the Community Team, or HQ to have a word with them or to fag up the problem for the Editors.

0
None
ringaiKiteman

Reply 5 years ago

I didn't exaggerate kickback results. As I suggested, speak with some experienced wood shop instructors.

Also, I did discuss it with the author and with staff. The author couldn't care less, the staff member suggested that I write an instructable to explain what a featherboard is. Neither course of action is acceptable.

So the end result is that Instructables will continue to allow an instructable to exist when they have been informed of the danger it presents and through their inaction, must also accept the responsibility for any untoward result.

0
None
Kitemanringai

Reply 5 years ago

Why do you assume that everybody who disagrees with you is ignorant or ill informed?

I teach "shop", and between friends, family and colleagues, I have access to well over a century of relevant experience.

Yet, between us, the worst non-industrial kick-back we have encountered resulted in a broken wrist.

I note that you have not made any comments on the instructable in question - would that not have been a sensible step if the author refused to agree with you?

Oh, and as for any responsibility, that lies entirely (and legally) with the author and anybody that choses to follow the instructions - you did read the Terms of Service before you signed up, didn't you?

0
None
ringaiKiteman

Reply 5 years ago

http://lumberjocks.com/RobH2/blog/7418

http://lumberjocks.com/PocketHole69/blog/18782

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?170208-Kickback-Hurts!-%28WARNING!-GORY-PICTURES

http://imgur.com/a/Uv3UC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcS0TAabedc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7sRrC2Jpp4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI5M5bk9ASM

Those are from a very few moments of searching. You can find many others.

I did, in fact, make comments on the instructable in question. As did other members. The author blew off the comments.

I also question the utility of your so-called "century of experience." Kickbacks are second only to inattention as a cause of injury around a tablesaw.

As for ignorance or being ill-informed, you brought it up, not I. If you feel that I in some way implied that you are ignorant and ill-informed, then perhaps a reason for that could be found by examining your need to bring it up.

If my idea of the concept of responsibility entails bothers you, then we are indeed quite different. Thankfully. From what I can infer, you would be quite alright with allowing any literate person access to dangerous chemicals if the label says "dangerous" and because the person can read.

I am from a generation that played and lived dangerously. We made a point of trying out any hare-brained scheme or idea involving heights, heavy, fast-moving objects, flammables, and any sorts of explosives we could lay hands on or create in the basement. The one thing we never did was fail to keep kids who didn't know that the heck they were about from trying it or hanging out where we did it. Our irresponsibility was socially responsible in that regard. We looked out for those who weren't capable of dealing with the issue at hand through their youth/ignorance, which is what my comments (and the comments of others) to the author tried to do.

Unfortunately, the author has a lassez faire attitude towards the safety of less informed individuals. Apparently, that is a trait he shares with others, hereabouts.

I don't wish to argue with you or your "experts." I've presented bare facts and my own 50 years of woodworking experience. I can sleep at night knowing that I've done everything I am able to do to fix that situation. It still bothers me, but my conscious is clear. At the end of the day, that's all a person can do.

0
None
Kitemanringai

Reply 5 years ago

Lot of text for "not arguing", but have it your way if you like.

Your voice has been heard, your conscience is clear, you're happy that you're right. I guess that's all that matters.

0
None
wilgubeast

5 years ago

Other users use the "inappropriate" flag to report potentially dangerous content. Whichever flag you choose, that project will be examined by a real, live human being.

0
None
kelseymhwilgubeast

Reply 5 years ago

Hi, Wade. This is quite true, and I've used the Inappropriate flag myself for content which is inescapably dangerous (like that stupid "submarine" which was essentially a trapped air pocket). The problem with the Inappropriate flag is that there is no interface to explain the flag (Did the author use offensive language? Put it in the wrong category? Post something that isn't instructive?). Relying on Staff to read minds puts an extra burden of both effort and time on them.

0
None
wilgubeastkelseymh

Reply 5 years ago

This might be the perfect occasion for adding a comment with the relevant information and immediately flagging it. "This project is lethal." Flag the project as inappropriate, flag your own comment as inappropriate, and the requisite information is there for staff to evaluate.

This is hacky as all get-out, but it does accomplish the goal of identifying health/safety issues with enough actionable information to at least eliminate the bathtub Tesla coils and cardboard potato cannons and submarine death traps.

Obviously dangerous projects should be identified by staff and unindexed. If that isn't happening, please escalate the matter to service@instructables.com.

0
None
ringaiwilgubeast

Reply 5 years ago

Being able to add a free-form comment to the inappropriate flag would be an acceptable option. My ire was raised by an author's apparent unconcern over co-opting of the word "featherboard."

Woodworkers the world over hear "featherboard" and instantly know that it is a device that both holds wood tightly to a reference surface and prevents said wood from being thrown back (i.e., a kickback) from the processing blade, whether that be a saw blade, router bit, or shaper blade.

The author created a hold down that merely pressed the wood against the reference surface without providing any protection from kickbacks. A kickback is quite capable of seriously injuring or killing, or causing serious property damage. Imagine a chunk of 2x4 flying out of a saw at several hundred miles per hour.

A seasoned woodworker can look at that project and know that it's unsafe and that despite the author's title, that the item is absolutely not a featherboard. However, a person with zero experience, having heard from veteran woodworkers that featherboards provide protection against "deadly" kickbacks, may look at that project and through inexperience actually use it as a featherboard simply because of the title. That action could have serious consequences.

0
None
steveastroukringai

Reply 5 years ago

On a 12" blade, running at 3000 RPM, the edge is moving at around 100mph, just out of interest.

0
None
ringaisteveastrouk

Reply 5 years ago

Yep, it's zinging right along. If you're unlucky enough to have it knock something back at your, it looks like something north of the speed of sound.

I remember watching David Thiel doing a TV segment and get a kickback that caught him somewhere south of the belt buckle, but not to far south. They cut the scene before the strike and he didn't sound any different in the next scene, so it wasn't too bad. But that's only because it was a really short piece of light wood. The consequences could have been much different if it'd been a couple feet of teak ;-)

I've had a couple kickbacks. I was unfortunate enough to witness a serious tablesaw accident about 30 years ago, so I'm a big believer in push sticks and standing on the other side of the fence. The first one broke my water heater. The second broke a leg on a wooden stool at my workbench.

I've passed along my big TS to my SIL. I have a dewalt jobsite saw that I use now and again. Mostly I turn wood now.

0
None
kelseymhwilgubeast

Reply 5 years ago

Yes, that's also a method suggested for use with SPAMmers where a direct flag isn't available (e.g., SPAMmer creates a group, so post a comment to the SPAMmer's Orangeboard then immediately flag that comment itself as SPAM to bounce it to Staff).

"Obviously dangerous projects should be identified by staff..." That assumes that I'bles very small staff has enough time to go through every single posted project and vet it, or we switch to a moderating system. Neither one sounds great. Having the community participate (and, at some level, be expected to participate) is not unreasonable at all.

0
None
caitlinsdadkelseymh

Reply 5 years ago

Yes, featured ibles should display the Darwin Award skill level qualification badge to encourage readers to participate.

0
None
Kiteman

5 years ago

Where do you draw the line between "safe" and "unsafe"?

I have a class full of kids using tools that could easily maim or kill them, and several classes that regularly use toxic or explosive chemicals. Do I stop my lessons? Or do I trust that my students to follow the safe practice I have taught them?

0
None
steveastroukKiteman

Reply 5 years ago

Or do I trust that my students to follow the safe practice I have taught them?
You can see the scenario.....
This is a Kman Potato gun, and to tell you the truth, I don't know if its fired one potato or none. Do ya' feel lucky ?
Well, do ya' punk ? ;-)

0
None
ringaisteveastrouk

Reply 5 years ago

Safe and unsafe?

Being lectured on a safe practices provides the student with a bullet list of things not to do and things that should always be done.

For instance: Wear a faceshield to protect against impacts.

Okay. So the student grabs a splash shield and puts it on. Is the student protected from impacts? Maybe from some thrown cheerios, but not from anything that could cause serious injury. Splash shields and face shields aren't the same thing. But how is that student to know? A splash shield certainly looks like a faceshield, but it sure doesn't have an ANSI Z87.1+ impact rating. Want to bet the splash shield's package says "Face Shield?"

The same thing applies to the featherboards. Someone has created a holding device and named it featherboard. Newbie sees it and decides that this one is much easier to make and so puts it on his brand-spanking new tablesaw. But because he didn't know he had to ensure that the blade was parallel to the miter slot before ripping a 2x4 in half, then proceeds to wear said 2x4 as an impromptu navel piercing. A featherboard would have prevented that injury.

It is not enough to "teach" safety rules.

Talk to one of your shop instructors about industrial accidents, or better yet, if your school system is luck enough to have a Voc Ed high school, go over there and talk to the metal working or wood working instructors. Ask them about safety practices around milling machines or lathes.

0
None
Kitemanringai

Reply 5 years ago

"It is not enough to "teach" safety rules."

Far better to teach safety then let students put safe practice *into* practice than to cotton-wrap people so that they cannot recognise hazards when they are in the real world.

That's what I meant about talking to the author. Far better to add a caveat to the project ("don't use for X or Y will get Zed") than it is to suppress the project altogether.

Who learns from suppression? All the author learns is that his work is not welcome here, and he carries on as before. Nobody else learns anything. Maybe somebody else has a similar idea, checks to see if it's been done before, finds nothing, publishes their version, and we are back here, having the same argument again.

Explain the danger to the author, he learns. He edits the project, everybody else learns. The world becomes, very slightly, a better, safer place, and the author goes on to make better, safer projects for us all to enjoy.