Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
3/31/09 2:30 p.m.

It’s ironic that while few enthusiasts would race a car without appropriate safety gear like a helmet, harness, race suit and roll cage, most people seem to take a laissez-faire approach to shop safety—or just ignore it altogether.

The current crop of TV reality shows like “Monster Garage” and “American Chopper” are seemingly reinforcing this attitude by showing professionals working …

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alex
alex UberDork
2/15/12 6:23 p.m.

Although it seems counterintuitive, I disagree with the advice to wear gloves when grinding. Given the choice, I'd rather have an abrasion than the broken (or torn off!) finger that could be the result of the grinder grabbing the glove material.

BirgerBuilder
BirgerBuilder New Reader
7/21/18 7:17 a.m.
alex said:

Although it seems counterintuitive, I disagree with the advice to wear gloves when grinding. Given the choice, I'd rather have an abrasion than the broken (or torn off!) finger that could be the result of the grinder grabbing the glove material.

I was taught by a professional machinist that you should never wear gloves, (Or anything below your elbow) While using any tool that spins, lathe, mill, drillpress etc. He's 50-some years old and still has all his fingers so I'm inclined to believe him. 

Knurled.
Knurled. GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/18 8:06 a.m.

Some of the worst machine shop horror stories I have read involved gloves getting caught.

 

If you must wear gloves, wear those latex or nitrile ones.  They aren't terribly great for preventing heat, but they do keep your hands clean, and if they catch on something they will harmlessly rip apart instead of dragging you in.

 

One downside is that torching spatter, instead of bouncing harmlessly off of bare skin, will blow right through the material and be unable to blow right back out again.

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
7/21/18 8:22 a.m.

I struggle with the gloves / no gloves thing.  I have a side business building stuff (generally fitness-related equipment) out of steel, so a grinder or 3 is always near by.  The issue I have is that if I don't use gloves, the teeny-tiny shards of metal that the grinder produces (or or the drill or the saw or etc) inevitably become embedded in the skin on my hands.  And metal splinters are sooooo much worse than a wood splinter, since half the time you can't even see them.  I have one right now that I can tell is there, but I can't see it or even a slight dark spot where I think it is.  If I use gloves, this happens way less.  

On top of that, handling steel straight from the mill is incredibly dirty work - I can't imagine the black detritus of the mill on your skin is particularly healthy either.  

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. 

Otherwise, the safety glasses go on and the ear plugs go in as soon as I get the lights on in the shop, the respirator gets worn pretty much any time the grinder or welder comes out, and I never weld without long sleeves and only rarely without long pants.  So generally, I'm very safety conscious.  Meanwhile, next door to me is a granite counter fab shop, and I see them grinding away often, engulfed in a cloud of granite dust, with neither ear plugs, safety glasses, or a respirator or dust mask on.  

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
7/21/18 8:44 a.m.

Two big sellers when I ran the burn unit were busted radiator hose on a hot engine and "oopsie" events involving an acetylene torch usually making (brief) contact with the hoses.  I won't mention "starting the burn pile"  or "getting the BBQ going."

 

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
7/21/18 10:05 a.m.

I had a rad hose pop off while I was in front of it three weeks ago. At least it was just water, but 1st and 2nd degree burns.

I also struggle with gloves.  1) my skin cannot handle grease and solvents any more, so I need them protected 2) I've lost a lot of skin on the wire wheel 3) leather gloves slow the zip disk down a bit as they are cutting through, and things get just warm before they get bloody.  But as a teen I had a glove and a shirt sleeve caught by conveyor belt clips.

I can't stand the paper dust masks; they don't fit right, they don't seal, and they are uncomfortable. I bought one of these last year, and I love it.  I'm way more inspired to wear it, because it fits, it stays, it seals, and it works (and mostly fits under my welding mask):

spandak
spandak Reader
7/21/18 10:36 a.m.

Hearing protection has become much more important to me as of late. Once I started wearing ear plugs on the motorcycle everything else in life seemed to get louder. If that sounds like a metaphor it’s not. So I now wear plugs or muffs anytime things start to get loud. I’m hoping it pays dividends in the long run. 

Wearing glasses seems to be my challenge. I don’t mind them when they are brand new and clear but after a while they get scratched up and I can’t stand looking through scratched lenses so they come off. It’s stupid I know. 

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
7/21/18 6:16 p.m.
SkinnyG said:

 

I can't stand the paper dust masks; they don't fit right, they don't seal, and they are uncomfortable. I bought one of these last year, and I love it.  I'm way more inspired to wear it, because it fits, it stays, it seals, and it works (and mostly fits under my welding mask):

Is that the Miller respirator?  I've got a 3M that seems okay for welding, but if I'm spraying (painting) something I can tell it's not sealing properly because the "valley" on the sides of of my nose end up the same color as whatever I'm spraying.  

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
7/21/18 6:37 p.m.

An acquaintance just posted this picture on FB. No one hurt and minor damage to the burb. 

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
7/21/18 7:14 p.m.
NorseDave said:

Is that the Miller respirator?  I've got a 3M that seems okay for welding, but if I'm spraying (painting) something I can tell it's not sealing properly because the "valley" on the sides of of my nose end up the same color as whatever I'm spraying.  

It is.  It's a filter, though, not a respirator.  It will just filter out particulates, not smells. I don't know if they sell charcoal inserts.

For paints, I use a full charcoal mask, I store it in a big ziplock so the charcoal stays fresher longer (no point having it filter air I'm not breathing).  For catalyzed paints, I use fresh canisters and throw them away after, hoping for the best.

And Spandak, I'm with you on hearing protection.  Pretty much any power tool. I even wear ear muffs mowing the lawn. Amazing how loud a chop saw is when you're used to wearing muffs around one. I have a set of form-fitted ear plugs for driving the Lethal Locost (Super 7) at 119dB of wind noise, and it's so much easier to just put them in a forget about them.

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
7/21/18 7:17 p.m.

There's no motor/trans in that 'Burb.  Looks like someone mis-judged the balance point for when the drivetrain was yanked?

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/21/18 8:00 p.m.

In reply to spandak :

I wear hearing protection all of the time now. Every power tool, lawn mower, even the electric line trimmer and edger.

Like almost any baby boomer, I've got some hearing loss, but I'm trying to preserve what is left. 

The thing that I find especially annoying is the volume at the movies, or any amplified music show. I understand the appeal, my ears rang for a couple of days after a Led Zeppelin concert, but now I know that is a certain indication of permanent hearing loss. 

I take ear plugs to the movies when I remember.

One thing I have read is that the more hearing loss you already have, the more susceptible you are to further damage. I'm not 100% certain on that, perhaps a better informed member of the forum might comment.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
7/21/18 8:25 p.m.

When it comes to wearing gloves and long sleeves around spinny things. I was taught that if there is a chance of gloves and/or shirt sleeves getting caught then it is time to use something to hold the part being grinded on, like vice grips or similar that moves your hand further away from the spinny thing.

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
7/21/18 9:12 p.m.
SkinnyG said:

There's no motor/trans in that 'Burb.  Looks like someone mis-judged the balance point for when the drivetrain was yanked?

He said the rear arms failed to lock and moved forward. My understating is it was up in the air and no one was on the building when it happened. My guess just looking at that picture is it was positioned too far to the rear. I don't know if the drivetrain was pulled after it was placed on the lift but that certainly seems plausible. 

To the original topic. I'm big on hearing protection. About the only time I don't have ear plugs in is when I'm sitting on the couch watching TV. I have two 3M respirators hanging above my work bench and several sets of safety glasses/goggles spread out in various places in the garage for easy access. The only thing not consistently good about is wearing gloves. I just can't get used to the reduction in feel while wearing them. My hands have the scars and cuts and scrapes to prove it too.

Knurled.
Knurled. GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/21/18 9:27 p.m.

In reply to Nick Comstock :

 

The lift pads are also set really high.  This a massive safety peeve of mine.  Lift pads should always be as low as necessary to clear the body and no higher.  The higher the pads, the sketchier things get.

 

I will assume that it only looks like it was set too far back, because the whole thing DID shift and fall down.  It might have been two feet forward before it fell down, after all.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
7/21/18 9:32 p.m.

I had these made last year or so. I still owe someone one but I can't remember who. 

The scariest machine in my shop is probably the tire machine. I'm pretty sure it would remove a couple of fingers without too much trouble. The mill is a close second. 

SkinnyG
SkinnyG SuperDork
7/21/18 10:06 p.m.

My chain saw scares me the most.

Followed next by the table saw.

Followed by my 2-post hoist.  Pics like above don't help inspire confidence in me.

Followed by the lathe, though I am very comfortable operating a lathe. Nothing produces quick buggery like spinning things and your fingers.

djsilver
djsilver Reader
7/21/18 10:31 p.m.

I've been wearing ear plugs at work (construction work, then power generation) for the last 40 years, but after a bout of otitis media recently that really impacted my hearing on (hopefully) a temporary basis, I've switched to ear muffs.  I have them clipped to my hard hat at work and hanging on my toolbox in the garage, and ear plugs in my side table drawer in the living room for when wifey turns the TV up too loud.  I had an extensive hearing test done 2 years ago and she explained that your threshold for hearing moves up, but your threshold for hearing discomfort doesn't, so you can get to the point that by the time you can hear it, it hurts.  I'm hoping to make it another 4 years to retirement before I get hearing aids, but I'm not so sure now...,

My rule for gloves is that if I'm holding the spinny thing, I wear gloves.  If I'm holding an object against a spinny thing, I don't wear gloves.  

I have safety glasses, goggles, and a face shield for use as needed.

I have 2 floor jacks, a transmission jack, a pair of ramps and 3 sets of jack stands.  I had a 2nd cousin get crushed under a car. 

I do need to add a switch to my chuck holder for the lathe so that it won't start unless the chuck is in the holder!

I also have my own metal locker for cans of flammable stuff and a fire extinguisher in the garage.  Just to prove I'm getting old, I even have one in my truck, mounted on the floor under the rear seat.

 

 

Torqued
Torqued New Reader
7/25/18 11:22 a.m.

The instructions for my auto-darkening welding helmet say that it is not to be used for oxy-acetylene welding so I still use the goggles for gas welding or cutting.  That brings up another issue:  The goggles won't fit over my prescription eyeglasses. Turns out that there are corrective inserts available for some brands/models of gas welding goggles that clip inside of the goggles. You do have to know the diopter correction that you need so you can purchase the right ones but they work great for me.

Another issue for those of us that must wear eyeglasses is that ear muffs don't seal as well over the bows of the glasses so we don't get quite the level of protection we would get without the glasses.  That is the reason that I wear earplugs whenever that is feasible - which brings up another issue for me:  I recently got hearing aids, which I have to remove to wear the ear plugs. (Tried just wearing the muffs, but they make the hearing aids squeal.)  So now, I keep a couple of small bottles old pill bottles or film cannisters in my shop to keep the hearing aids safe while I'm using the ear plugs.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
7/25/18 12:23 p.m.

These are cheap, and easy to use. 

 

I own a pair, but almost never see them in use anywhere else.  No excuse. 

bigeyedfish
bigeyedfish New Reader
7/25/18 1:20 p.m.

Gloves aren't a huge concern to me.  I won't wear them while running a bench grinder, mill, drill press, etc.  But I always wear them when running an angle grinder.

I have a stash of safety glasses and ear plugs in the garage and spares in each car in case I'm away from home and need them.

I agree with SkinnyG about the chainsaw and table saw.  Neither has bitten me yet, but there is so much potential for Oh E36 M3 Moments in each of those that I don't like using them.

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