The most dangerous tool in the shop?

A recent online discussion was centered around an attempt to categorize tools based on their potential to cause injury. This is exactly where you get into trouble. Never assume that any machine is “safe” or even “relatively safe.”

There are more ways to get injured than all of us combined could ever count and most of them have not been discovered yet. This idea of categorizing tools is a bit like laying odds on craps table bets. Sure, the odds may be against you, but sooner or later someone will win the bet. This whole idea overlooks the primary cause of injury: human error. Anything can hurt you.

Thinking that a particular tool is less likely to cause injury can result in a lessening of vigilance which, in most cases, is exactly what leads to injury in the first place. It is true that the probability of an accident with certain tools is much higher than with others. But do you think that probability matters to the guy who was injured in an “improbable” manner?

The most “dangerous tool” in the shop remains the person using the tool.



  • AMEN!!

    A pocket knife will hurt you if you don’t use it properly.

    We have a sign beside our front door, “WARNING this building is full of sharp things that can hurt you. Enter at your own risk, we are not responsible for accidents involving stupidity or carelessness on the part of visitors.”

    Well, OK, we don’t really, but I’d like to!

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