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I'm a retired wood, metal, electronics reacher of San Diego Unified School District.
I'm a safety geek – especially on eye protection. I taught 32 years with only three significant accidents to my "kids," mainly middle, and high schoolers. The worst was 3/8" of a thumb removed in a band saw, the others a burn and chisel cut that healed and sewed up without a trace. No eye injuries.
Two years ago I was at the San Diego Fine Woodworking Association's beautiful annual display at the Del Mar Fair. One of their members was demonstrating, to the public, turning on a lathe. There was a plastic shield between the lathe and the watching visitors, but the young worker wore no eye protection. He had sunglasses propped up on the top of his head, and his squinting reduced the inconvenience of the sawdust hitting him in the eyes. I complained to him that most of the persons watching were adults, but were also young kids; kids at whom I yelled and preached about eye protection for too many years, kids whose fathers might have a lathe at home which they would be tempted to try in like manner. He was offended, but simply pulled his glasses down and went about his business. I walked on, and he did what I knew he would do, remove the "un-cool" glasses.
I found the person in charge of the day's exhibit, who said that there was nothing he could, nor would do. After an uncomfortable exchange with the man, I went on my way, not trying any more lest I be the slow learner. Not fun.
What would you have done?
Good for you. It's tough to be so bold in this day and age. Certainly the demonstrator should carrry much of the blame. He should never been up there without safety glasses. I know many would say he should have worn a face shield. I think you did your best, and your conscience is clear.
Eye injury can be very serious. I once caught a small piece grit of metal in my eye from a machine shop, simply by walking down the sidewalk. Days later i saw a doctor who removed it. For over a year i had eye trouble. Soreness, red, itchy. One day it was watering so bad i saw a different doctor. All the metal wasn't removed. I now had rust growing in my eye. I had to have a special surgeon remove it.
Ever since that, I too am a safety glass geek. And I think another over looked safety issue is hearing protection. The continuous noise from the machines in a small shop, I believe can have irreversible damage.
What's your thoughts on hearing protection? DId you stress it the same with your kids?
Some people think of safety when something unfortunate happen to
them. You are right about safety glasses
for the eyes. No job is ever too small
for safety gears. You are an excellent
teacher having taught these kids the proper and safe way on handling power
tools. Better a safety geek than sorry.
I replied once before to your situation, but i think it might have gotten lost. If you did receive this before, well just ignor this:-)
I give you credit in this day and age for being so bold. The instructor should not have been in that postion. I know all too well the dangers of eye safety. Some years ago i caught a git of metal in my eye from a nearby machine shop as i was walking down the sidewalk. I went to a doctor a few days later and he removed it. For over a year i had problems with that eye. Finally getting tired of it, i went to another doctor. The doctor said i had rust growing on my eye as a result of all the metal not being completely removed. It did damage to my len and i can never wear contacts if i should need them. I would hate some young kid learn the hard way before learning to wear safety glasses. Another highly over looked (in my opinion) is hearing protection.
All in all, your conscience is clear because you tired. I only wish the people in charge were as concerned as you were.
hard way is the worst. We should take
care of the fragile parts such as the eyes and ears. I have always been putting primary
consideration to eye safety. Perhaps it
is time for me to heed your warning and include hearing protection.