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Thread: Lathe whipping accident - video and image

  1. #1
    Jon is online now Jon has agreed the Seller's Terms of Service
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    Lathe whipping accident - video and image

    Yes, this is a real safety sign. What glorious procedure can simultaneously rip off a chunk of your face, arm, and leg? Lathe whipping.

    Here's a 44-second video of some long stock being machined in a lathe. This is clearly done in a modern, clean commercial shop, with a purpose-built support, but it still looks shady. What are they missing here? A second support?

    Here's a formal writeup of a lathe whipping fatality from Washington's Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program: Machinist Dies After Being Struck by Rotating Steel Bar Stock in Lathe in Washington State.

    Worker accidentally pulled into lathe
    Lathe safety/stupidity accident video

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    Last edited by Jon; Jun 7, 2020 at 10:15 PM.

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    KustomsbyKent (Aug 14, 2017), LMMasterMariner (Aug 17, 2017), NortonDommi (Aug 17, 2017), Scotsman Hosie (May 9, 2019), Seedtick (Aug 16, 2017), Toolmaker51 (Aug 15, 2017)

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    JeffEck's Avatar
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    I bumped the power switch while reaching for chuck key I dropped.

    A Christmas gift from a shop gremlin... 3 am (I like to go in early and play before I start working for customers) and I am working at my Rockwell 14" Lathe that I have had a love affair with for the last 26 years, we 5started dating when I was 9 and dad would help me get on my stool and get the material in the chuck... Anyways, so I am working with a 44" 3/4" stainless steel solid bar. As I inserted the rod I dropped the chuck key. I had a tape measure on my belt that decided to turn the machine on as I reached for the chuck key. For a split second all was well, I realize what I had done and reach to turn the machine off. At that moment, the rod decided to go for a swing and it hit me on my right forearm. As I descend to a lower level I manage to turn the machine off. I am not sure how long I was on the floor, but when I got up I had to make sure the machine was not damaged, the ways didn't have any dents and the chuck was not harmed from what I could tell with one arm and a SPLITTING headache (I think the rapid stop with the concrete and my skull caused this). I get to the door and meet my partner in crime, Dad had come to work. He helped me get to mom, a nurse, and she then called my doctors office to get me in. I've been to the ER in the past and I won't pay another $3500 for a xray and 4-6hr wait while begging people to kill me. Long short, I have health issues and my medical record looks to be as thick as the tax code book...

    9 am, the Xrays show I have what they call night stick injury. I am appalled there is such a name and that so many black people have been beaten by cops that the injury has its own name. Doc says I need a bone surgeon to fix the arm. That doc says come in at 2 pm to see what they can do. Irritated at this point I agree to wait and head home. A few minutes into the torture of riding in a car with a broken arm, I get a call. They received the x-ray and I am to have surgery the next day at 2 pm and come in at 8 am for a quick health check, no food after midnight...

    The surgery went well and I awoke in agony. I am quickly sent on my way before the meds for the surgery wear off. It's Christmas with the in-laws... With everything else that is wrong with me, I am already on meds to help with the pain, but I am not allowed any extra to help with the extreme pain I am in. I bearly remember Christmas with them and I am OK with that...................... 6 weeks in a cast and I start having pain in the wrist of the broken arm. Before the cast is removed, I get Xrays and an MRI (CT?, which ever shows broken bones) that shows I have a small bone in my wrist that is shattered, but a very old break... The impact made the nerves in that area mad and their vengance was PAIN, MORE PAIN.... I sorta remember having some pain in the wrist during high school football. I was a lineman and at 160lbs the biggest on the line (we were a small school). I remember thinking I couldn't let the pain stop me as there was no one who could fill my spot on the field. The bone doc thought I should have it fused like the double fusion in my back. I was not interested in another surgery so I got a second opinion. I was told that a rookie surgeon would fuse me and I would soon after have to have the entire wrist fused. I chose to live with the pain. My family doctor who mainly takes care of my broken body thought it would stop hurting after the nerves had some time to relax. He was right, I have already lived 19 years or so with it broken and seldom did it bother me enough to talk to him about it.

    LONG story I know, but it does have a meaning, NEVER let the machine come to life without having the material secured and chuck tight.....

    Lathe whipping accident - video and image-broken-arm1.jpgLathe whipping accident - video and image-cast.jpgLathe whipping accident - video and image-rod.jpg
    Last edited by JeffEck; Aug 14, 2017 at 05:19 PM. Reason: forgot an image.

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    Last year I decided to make a live edge bowl from a 5 pound piece of Oak that had been kicking around the shop. I mounted it between centers and started the lathe. It got to speed and a vibration started and as I reached over to turn it off (power switch on right side of lathe) the piece let go right into the left cheek bone. Face shield sill in my hand. It hit with enough force to break the right side as well. Its called a La Forte fracture. The Oak went up off my face and hit the florescent lights and continued to the shop door. Luckily my Wife was home so when I stumbled to the back door she loaded me up and off to the ER. All is well now (2 plates and 6 screws in my face later). Still get really nervous when I do anything on it now. Haven't tried any bowls since.

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Work place accidents are always bad even minor ones can be costly. I've seen this all too often when it comes to CNC equipment though. Individuals are often hired based more on their computer programming or G code expertise. Hiring decisions place often do not place enough emphasis on the prospective employee's work safety knowledge.
    A 3 or 4 hour course in some class room with limited lab time does not cut it in my book. see " Machinist Dies After Being Struck by Rotating Steel Bar Stock in Lathe in Washington State."
    In my shop his person would have been hired as an apprentice's helper with no more actual time on machines than he had, been assigned to my wife for at least a few months . Any time you have bar stock protruding from the back of the spindle you never operate it any where near full speed even with supports it is only when there is a tubular support mounted on the lathe with depending on length of stock multiple support doughnut biscuit supports spaced along the inside of the tube supporting the stock. Even then lower RPMs should be used.
    I set up one of my lathes for threading some cylinder rods back when my wife and I had our machine/ fab shop, she was single point threading several 1.5" by 150" rods for me while I was on another lathe one of our few at the time employees returned from what I later found out was a fluid lunch, jumped on the forklift and backed into one of the supports knocking the 400 lb base out of alignment. Instead of simply switching off the lathe my wife hit the "E" stop button and stood on the brake at the same time. She needn't have bothered with the brake as that lathe was equipped with a magnetic brake on the motor when the "E" stop was pushed The spindle speed was slow due to the threading set up but still this was a safety procedure I had drilled into her head for several years. She never considered herself more than an apprentice but her quick reflexes prevented what could have been a very costly incident because even at a slow RPM a rod such as that once bent can do a lot of damage
    Last edited by Frank S; Aug 14, 2017 at 06:40 PM.
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    Supporting Member NortonDommi's Avatar
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    Really frightening to watch those videos but probably most of us have experienced whip at some time and hopefully caught it and learned from it. JeffEck thanks for sharing that, makes it real. Have you tried acupuncture?
    I have a routine that whenever the chuck key is going into the chuck my lathe is in neutral, one movement to hit the lever on the way to the key. E-stop button is right there too and often gets pushed. I had an acquaintance get wrapped around work in a 30" swing lathe at about 50 rpm years ago when his overall sleeve got caught, he lived but only just. That guy was a very experienced turner and as he said,"just a moments inattention".

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    Scotsman Hosie (May 9, 2019)

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    Given that the outboard end had already been turned, I can't believe they didn't set up a bearing rest for it. That's a big chunk of metal to be turning in hopes that it'll reach stable oscillation before it creates pandemonium on the shop floor.

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