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Safety First Aid Symbol SAFETY - I : A Case study

Demonstration by Jim Paw-Paw Wilson (deceased)
August 23, 2000 - Updated August 2002, May 2011
Safety Illustration
Figure 4
OK, Ladies & Gentlemen, let's get started. Contrary to popular opinion, this is what we're going to be working on tonight. It's just a simple camp fire pot lifter, 12" of 1/4" cold rolled square stock. This is what a finished piece looks like.
Safety Illustration
Figure 5
And this is what an identical piece looks like after a wire wheel wraps it around the blacksmith's head!
Head Injury Safety Illustration
Figure 2
Oh! In case you're curious, this is what the head looks like. Front view first.
Head Injury Shop Safety Illustration
Figure 3
And side view second.
Damaged Safety Glasses
Figure 6
Now take a look at an expensive pair of safety glasses.
You can't see them very well, but note the crooked place to the left of center. The largest part of the lens is laying between the ear pieces, and the nose piece (one of them) and three other pieces of lenses are there also.
Ten Hammers
Soft tissue only Jim ?
Injured Eye Detail
Figure 9
Thanks to the safety glasses, this is what they eye looks like up close. WITHOUT the safety glasses, I'd no longer have the eye!
Injured Eye
Figure 7
A little further away, just to show how close it was.
folks, I'm not showing these pictures out of some perverted form of vanity, I'm showing them to make an important point.

I was doing all the right things. I had on GOOD safety glasses (THANK GOD!) I was wearing leather gloves. I was not standing in line with the wheel when it grabbed, I was standing to the side.
If I had not been doing all of those things, I wouldn't be sitting here typing, I'd be in the hospital getting used to seeing with one eye. If I was lucky!
For those of you who don't know it, let me teach you a code word.


No, not a double barrelled sling shot!

B Bleeding

R Respiration

A Air way

S Shock
After you ascertain that the patient is breathing, control the bleeding! In this case I used a leather glove. Wasn't clean, but I had it on my hand!

Figure 8
Then I consciously controlled my breathing to avoid hyper-ventilating. Air way was OK. Walked to the house, (While screaming "Sherron!")
She came out, I said "Towel for compress" She grabbed two from kitchen, handed them to me, I threw the glove down, applied pressure. Then said "Transport! Aegis" (Urgent care facility less than a block from the house.) Sheri's been with me long enough that she asked NO question, just did exactly as told.
I didn't mention a leather apron because I wasn't wearing one. I should have been. I didn't mention a quilted welders cap because I forgot it. I was wearing it. If you want to remain whole, you MUST get and USE the equipment.

Wire wheels and grinders are probably the most dangerous tools in our shops. I use mine every day. It's a 6" braided wire cup brush on a shaft that's pulley run by a 1750 RPM motor. I felt like it's was safe as possible. It isn't! It'll have some deflector added before I turn it on again!
I always warn other's that this wheel will eat you alive. Just how safe is it really, if I have to warn folks about it. How many tools do you have in YOUR shop that you warn other folks about? How safe are they.
Where is your first aid kit? Do you HAVE a first aid kit in your shop? If not, why the heck not?!? How would you get help if you needed it. Where would you go if you got hurt?

THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS! Plan for the worst! It sure can happen!
Full face shield probably wouldn't have helped Jim. Would have shattered, I think.

Steve, 18 in four separate lacerations. Most over the temple at the corner of the Optical Orb.
Ten Hammers
Jim, ABCDE works well too. Airway, Breathing, Circulation (Pulse), Disability ( what kind) and expose ( or in this case direct pressure to control bleeding). Glad you walking, talking, seeing, and typing !
Jim Wilson you look almost as good as the guy we had to cut out of his pick up tonight went half way in to the house with the truck drunk as a skunk.
Steve C
How many stitches did it take to close it up? looks pretty bad
Ophthalmologist checked me this morning. No retinal separation. But would have definitely ruptured the orb and fractures the Maxillary Process without the glasses.

OBTW. I stopped at the Opticians as I was leaving the Dr's Office and ordered an identical pair of safety glasses. I wont work until they arrive. Jim, I've already considered that and I agree with you. Will do that in addition to the deflectors.
Anybody else? Folks, I was lucky! LEARN from my accident. Tom, When you do, would you mind sending it to Jock for posting on the plans page? Jock is that a good idea?

Jim, I hope you heal fast and don't scar too much
When you're tired, QUIT! That last little bit is when you are in the most danger. Shortcut's are rarely shortcuts. They're usually longcuts! They will cost you more time, effort and pain than they are usually worth!
OK folks, this was short and very basic. I'd suggest a short course in first aid at your local Red Cross. Then walk through your shop with a very critical eye on safety issues. Let me leave you with one final thought.

You can walk with a plastic leg.

You can work with a plastic arm.

You CAN'T see with a plastic eye!


It is now two years since this accident. As it turns out, the night I did the above demo, all of the damage hadnít shown up yet. I did have a small, star shaped fracture of my skull at the initial impact point. I also had not one but two concussions. One at the initial impact point, the second on the top of my head where I hit a five gallon bucket of concrete when I dove away from the hit.

The accident effectively side lined me for almost two years. I suffered almost constant traumatic head aches for nearly 18 months. Itís only in the last six months that theyíve slowed down enough to permit me to start working again.

In 62 years, Iíve had a total of 7 major head injuries, including two skull fractures. As a result, I have two small lesions on the brain. Not bad enough to require surgery, but they could have been. Iím fortunate that I have a pretty hard head, or Iíd probably be dead by now. (Grin)


NOTE: Most injuries involving electric shock are the result of the involuntary spasm that sends you flying. Where the voltage is not high enough to kill you instantly or the path of the current does not stop your heart it is the secondary injuries that hurt many. Head injuries such as Jim's are common in these cases. -guru

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