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Thread: Lathe accident (very graphic)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Home is Monroe, Maine
    Posts
    880

    Lathe accident (very graphic)

    I thought I would share this, it came to me as a safety bulletin. The person's loose clothing was wrapped into the lathe, and resulted in a fatality.

    I've had some near hits over the years in a lathe, and this is was a wakeup call for me.

    Notice there is no safety guard (who uses those?)

    The pictures are very graphic, so don't open them if you will be disturbed by them.

    Ben

    I have removed the pictures. It is against this forums policies to post pictures of dead things... please do not re post them.

    Dennis
    Last edited by Dennis Sorensen; 06-12-2011 at 12:50 AM. Reason: against the policy of Benchrest Central to post pictures of dead things

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    So. Central PA. Most rifle shooting at Shippensburg Fish and Game.
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    That's why I went to such lengths to make sure my spider chuck didn't have exposed bolts.

    I think Grizzly should change the design of their spider chucks to enclose the bolts. Those chucks are a law suit waiting to happen.

    It's also why when I file on the lathe, I file left handed so my arm and shirt sleeve aren't over the chuck.

    Fitch

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth Texas
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    693
    If those are the pictures I think they are, I'll pass. Just don't need grizzly images stuck in my head. For once I like being left handed. I remember when I was flying B-52's us wrong handers were able to convince command authority to allow the parachute shop to move the emergency knife pocket from the left leg of the flying suit to the right and do the same with the sleeve pocket. Unless you're left handed you don't realize how many things are geared to a right handed world. Which gets me to the point I was thinking about from Fitch's comment. The lathe headstock being on the left seems more suited to left handers. Do you suppose the lathe was invented by a left hander? Also, left handers might be a little bit safer because we, sometimes, have to pause and consider a sequence of operations when operating equipment designed for and by right handers.

    Didn't mean to hijack Ben's thread. I know that a gunsmith I regularly have lunch with divests his hands of watches and rings as soon as he walks through the entrance door of his shop. He also always wears short sleeve shirts even though his shop is poorly heated in winter. I followed up on his example by placing a half dozen short sleeve Dickie work shirts on a rack in my shop.
    I'm not as good about removing my watch. My friend has a drawer cabinet right next to the entrance door where he stores his watch. I need to do something similar. I think if we provide ourselves with a physical environment that prods us to develop safe working habits, they become second nature.

    Of course complacency is the greatest danger and if Ben's pics are the ones I think they are, then complacency had a big part in that accident.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mercer Island WA USA
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    186
    Those have been around for a couple years on the internet.
    It happened in Australia.

    By typing "lathe accident" into Google, it comes up first.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
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    1,086
    These pictures are a great way to loose weight. Post them on the door of your refrigerator. Will cause dramatic weight reductions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    511

    A few rules go a long way,

    When I began my T&D apprenticeship, several safety rules were stated and we simply never violated them:
    No long sleeves (nothing below the elbow)
    No rings or watches
    Safety glasses at all times in the toolroom
    No horseplay, period.
    All good rules, learned at a young age and still good practices.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    526

    One time

    ONCE! Many, many years ago I caught my hair in a drill press. Now a days I wish I had the hair to catch in a drill press.

    Know a doctor that decided to play with his lathe in the middle of the night while wearing his bathrobe. Almost lost his arm. He had the lathe removed within a few days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay, Idaho View Post
    No long sleeves (nothing below the elbow)
    No rings or watches
    Safety glasses at all times in the toolroom
    No horseplay, period.
    I adhere to the above religiously and also never wear any loose clothing and tie up your hair if it's long.
    Even filing I sometimes get a slight touch from the chuck, but you know it's there with no consequences with a bare arm.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Rachel's Glen Greenville, AL
    Posts
    743
    I've had those photos on my hard drive for almost a year now. I assumed some thing from them: 1. It was an older lathe so it must not have had a good brake 2. The on/reverse switch must be to where he couldn't reach it 3. It's a large building so it may have been poorly heated causing him to wear a lot of clothes which were, obviously, loose.

    There is also the possibility that when his clothes caught in the lead screw he panicked and just couldn't think straight. I hope he lost consciousness rapidly because he knew what was coming.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Buford GA
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    1,701
    I posted this thought the last time these pics showed up -


    All us home shop guys have a double reason to be very careful.

    #1. Dead is dead although personally I think there are worse fates.

    #2. If something like that happened to one of us home shop guys the person most likely to discover the grisly mess would be one of our loved ones. My wife would probably be catatonic if she saw me in that scene.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    29
    Wow,
    My high school shop class had posters of safety rules nad accidents hanging above the machinery. It kept us all thinking about safety all the time.
    I just showed my kids the pictures and they said they would never touch my lathe.
    After I calmed my wife down and assured her that she won't find me like that she agreed to the necessity of installing a heater in my new shop.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Scottish Borders
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    31
    Wow
    First time I have seen these pictures.
    A friend of mine had told me a story that his brother had told him, when he was training as a fireman they were shown pictures of various fatalities in different work conditions, the one that stuck in his mind was a lathe operator that had a similar fate as the guy above, difference being that this guy had his chest area ripped from his body, the pictures showed his legs and lower body still standing leaning against the machine. As I say this was a second hand account of what the pictures showed and what I was told, I cant vouch for whether it is true or not.

    I had actually just came home and sat down after dinner to catch up on my favourite machining site, sure made me sit up and think.

    My Harrison M300 has a foot brake and an emergency stop button, I got to thinking, if this did happen at lets say one of the higher speeds, would you have time to hit a stop button or hit the foot operated brake, panic sure stops the senses from working as they normal would.

    I have been trying to source some aluminium round bar to make an action spider as a project for the lathe, Looking at some of the pictures of smiths lathes on various web sites they all seem to have protruding Allen head or hex nut bolts protruding well out of the jig, I was going to replicate my jig the same as theirs, I am going to reassess this and try to figure out how to do one with hidden bolts.

    As a complete amateur lathe operator, this post has certainly opened my eyes up more to the fact that safety is paramount when operating any type of machine.

    My Lathe is situated in an old stone built outhouse, walls are about 3ft thick,
    it can get cold out there even in summer weather, next project is to make a wood burning stove from an empty, tall propane bottle

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,870
    My lathe is in a small well heated room. I always work in a short sleeve T shirt and never have worn any rings. The thought of getting caught in any machinery is terrible. I grew up on a farm and was around power equipment at a very early age. I was operating some power equipment from about 7 or 8. The danger of an auger, mower, baler, etc. was ingrained early and carried over to all power tools.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    17
    Yes, spinning long spider bolts can get you into trouble and take a chunk of flesh from your arm very easily. Good point!

    The chuck is at the left, but some of those homemade spiders I've seen stick out a foot or more with an extra 2" and some of bolts spinning around it

  15. #15
    cpeters is offline just me no fake name here
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Loose Creek, MO
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    443
    I lost an uncle in a similar type of incident but it was farm related.

    Thier farm is located about 15 min out in the country from where they live. He was pressure washing and disinfecting a large poultry building with a 500 gallon tank with the pump mounted on a trailer connected to the 100 horse tractor with a PTO shaft (shield missing). It was cold and he had on insulated overalls. NO one knows if his overalls snagged the shaft of if the hose got in the shaft and drug him in but when he did not come home that evening my aunt called her son to go to the farm and check on him. The tractor was still turning that shaft at 540 rpm and everything that it had picked up just like it was designed to do, it probably never slowed down, my cousin shut off the tractor and that is how he found his dad. He made the phone calls he had to make, then went to the farm enterance and blocked it, so no family or neighbors and only the authorities could pass through.
    I am told it was alot worse than the above pictures.

    When you tange with powerfull equipment....the equipment wins.

    All of the safety equipment , shields and switchs are for a reason.

    Charlie

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