Giving Safety the Finger

The start of the 4th annual woodworking bloggers’ Safety Week is Monday, and I was wondering what to contribute to this year’s offerings.

However, after spilling claret, and being referred to as “the chainsaw guy” in the ER, I guess I found something to write about after all.

Not as serious as it sounds- the chainsaw wasn’t running at the time. It was while attempting to adjust the chain- the lock bolt was rather tight, and the spanner slipped and the back of a finger hit a tooth on the saw. Being brand new, it gouged, deep enough that it scraped the tendon apparently.

Deep enough that I had one look at it while cleaning up and I knew that was the end of my shed time for the day. Tried the local doctors, but three different clinics were too busy dealing with running noses to deal with a real problem.

Once again it proves invaluable having a good first aid kit in the shed- I was able to apply a non-stick dressing and wrap the finger properly before heading off. Sadly, I was able to do a better job than what the ER sent me home with. At least they have anaesthetic, sutures and antibiotic scripts.

So, lessons reinforced, or learned:

a. A good first aid kit in the shed is invaluable
b. Contact details for a reliable local medical clinic if one can be found
c. Leather gloves may have been useful here, but I’m also concerned if that could result in other accidents if they get caught during normal operation. Will have to check on that for best practice.
d. Remembering what direction the force being applied will carry the tool (and hand) if the tool slips. This is not the first time I’ve slipped while trying to undo an overly tight tool and had an appendage impact on a very sharp blade. I’ve done the same thing trying to undo a router bit a few years ago. That also resulted in sutures. Perhaps I’ll learn this time!
e. Having a good understanding of first aid is a very useful skill, especially when one has a tendency to spill (claret).

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