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Health & Safety - Using a Lathe


Hybrid_From_Hell
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What an utter tool. A mate of mine told me last year about a guy at his work loosing an arm to a pillar drill after a clothing-related incident that tore it off at the shoulder and beat him up with the wet end.

As I tell my students the machine has a minimum of 2 horsepower in our workshop. Would you stand in front of 2 stampeding horses? no, then don't mess about with a machine that can easily do the same damage.

Unfortunately there is no equivelnt to PUWER regs for metalwork machines, not that I'm aware of anyway.

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Oooh. Now I'm sure we've all left a chuck key in and switched on at some point, but I wasn't quite expecting to see a lathe used in exactly that way!

Given how loose the tailstock looked, I was expecting to see it land on the fellow shortly after too!

I guess he was lucky there wasn't a tool in the tool holder - he'd have come up with a new definition for 'parting tool' if he had...

Kev

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Unfortunately there is no equivelnt to PUWER regs for metalwork machines, not that I'm aware of anyway.

I am puzzled as to why you think PUWER would not apply to machine tools, or any other machinery for that matter?

Nick.

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Idiots.

the closest I've come to being killed with a lathe was;

I was in Fez in Morocco commissioning a polyurethane foam making plant, the mixer barrel was a bit mucked up from doing trials and the in-house fitter decided to take it to his mate in the 'machine shop' to clean rather than waiting to clean it in solvent overnight.

Said mate clamped it in a huge 3 jaw lathe and set it going, then proceeded to clean the inside bore of the barrel with a scotchbrite pad held in his hand (itself a cringe worthy moment). He then changed gear on the lathe to get a better finish, and then once more changed up again. At this point it now must have been turning at over a 1000rpm!

Up till now I'd been with the fitter keeping an eye on things but on him changing gear I decided to make a sharp exit, just as I turned i heard a loud 'ching'-the barrel had lost balance, hit the bed and been thown out, it then hit the machinist at which point Im running with my hands over my head as I can see out of the corner of my eye this barrel literally bouncing all over the workshop it had that much speed still. Dived outside without being hit.

The machinist ended up unconsious with multiple broken ribs, internal bruising to most organs, and was sacked whilst recovering in hospital. Lucky to be alive.

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I've never left the key in the chuck before because I always give the chuck a test spin by hand before hitting the power.

But I don't usually unplug the lathe while chucking/unchucking, and it occurs to me that I might inadvertently hit the start lever. (I suppose a start button would be safer, but my lathe has a forward/reverse lever on top of the headstock.) Do other folks unplug or otherwise disconnect the power every time they chuck/unchuck?

Jeff.

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All the lathes I have used have a cover over the chuck with a kill switch.

You can't actually turn the thing on with the key in it as you'd need to close the cover first.

My lathe is circa 1950, so it's a little short on all the modern safety stuff. You can see the forward/reverse switch going off the top of the picture. No chuck guard in sight, though. ;)

Adapter-Rough.jpg

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I used to work at a gear-cutting firm a few years ago, they had been in the same building for maybe 30 years or so. The ceiling had a couple of holes in it where over the years a couple of jobs had been thrown from chucks, luckily nobody was ever hit. The holes were perfectly rectangular, showing the force that they had been thrown with...

I did hear about one guy who was showing a apprentice why you should not go near changewheels whilst the machine was running. In the process he lost the tip of his finger! An effective demonstration I would say! :ph34r::D

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