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  1. #1
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    Default Safety frustration at the mens shed

    On Fridays I am supposed to supervise/coordinate the mens shed and we generally get about 15-20 attendees.

    We have a full safety induction, safety notices and signs, safety features in the newsletter, reminders etc.

    Here is a list of potentially unsafe activities I noted today.
    - using a wire wheel on a bench grinder with just regular eyeglasses
    - using a jointer on small stock with no push sticks.
    - using a screw driver as a push stick on a table saw
    - fiddling around with stock under an RAS with the arm fully extended and the blade running
    - not an activity but a donation from a member - a half dozen files with the the ends ground for wood turning.

    I'm quite a bit younger than most members, and I was not a tradie so don't have that credibility, so it's not that easy for me to convince the culprits to do the right thing.
    Does anyone have any ideas about how to get their attention about this?

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  3. #2
    crowie's Avatar
    crowie is offline Life's Good, Enjoy each new day & try to encourage
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    What about posting some of the very gory signs that TAFE used to have....fingers cut off, hair ripped from the scalp, eye operations to remove objects, file tangs dug into hands, etc, etc.....

  4. #3
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    Contact work cover and ask them to send an inspector around and tell him to go to town on them and threaten to shut it down if they don't comply or better still, shut it down untill they have done an accredited safety course, its their welfare your looking after. you can also get people who have been disabled as a result of industrial malpractice to visit the shed, works a treat
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  5. #4
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    There's the "Please think of others" approach:

    Tell them "If someone gets injured, and they were not wearing/taking proper safety precautions (regardless of if it would have prevented injury or not), we may not be able to afford the increase in insurance premiums, meaning we have to reduce hours."

    There are government departments in Canberra that have banned using the stairs to go between floors as the cost of fall insurance was getting too much.

    Or the "Our way or the highway" approach:

    One infringement, you are banned from the machines till you re-do the induction, including signing a document acknowledging that you have received safety training.

    On sight of a second infringement, no warning will be given and all power circuits will be immediately shut off until you dismount your work and leave the machine, inconveniencing everyone else. To get machine privilege back, you have to do the safety training yet again.

    Three infringements, they forfeit their power tool privileges in the shed. Hand tools only.

  6. #5
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    Some good ideas there guys. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by rwbuild View Post
    Contact work cover and ask them to send an inspector around and tell him to go to town on them and threaten to shut it down if they don't comply or better still, shut it down untill they have done an accredited safety course, its their welfare your looking after. you can also get people who have been disabled as a result of industrial malpractice to visit the shed, works a treat
    No one is employed at the Shed so we are not subject to work cover rules.
    However we are required to run a safe shed by our insurance but they won't send out any inspectors and will only react to after the fact.

  7. #6
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    It doesn't matter if they are employed or not, when push comes to shove, the mens shed is responsible, money doesn't replace the loss of sight, fingers, etc. Believe me, if an accident happens, the insurance company will call work cover and heads will roll
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    On Fridays I am supposed to supervise/coordinate the mens shed and we generally get about 15-20 attendees.

    We have a full safety induction, safety notices and signs, safety features in the newsletter, reminders etc.

    Here is a list of potentially unsafe activities I noted today.
    - using a wire wheel on a bench grinder with just regular eyeglasses
    - using a jointer on small stock with no push sticks.
    - using a screw driver as a push stick on a table saw
    - fiddling around with stock under an RAS with the arm fully extended and the blade running
    - not an activity but a donation from a member - a half dozen files with the the ends ground for wood turning.

    I'm quite a bit younger than most members, and I was not a tradie so don't have that credibility, so it's not that easy for me to convince the culprits to do the right thing.
    Does anyone have any ideas about how to get their attention about this?
    Bob,sooner or later someone will lose a finger or an eye or potentially much worse and that will get their attention !
    I am sure you could source some gruesome photos showing people who have similar bad habits with a bad outcome in the workshop that the members might like to see.
    Anyone not complying to the Shed safety rules should be supspended or banned as they are not only putting themselves at risk of serious injury but also other memebers too.

  9. #8
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    Our very detailed advice is that as we are not an employer and pay no workers comp insurance Work Cover will not come.
    We have been through all this with the insurer and our local Council who own the building.
    The Council did send one of their OHS people to provide suggestions to improve safety of the physical infrastructure but they have no authority over practices.
    The insurance covers supervisors provided appropriate actions are taken and the members sign a form to say they have received safety training and will operate in a safe manner.
    I have no doubt that the insurance company will try and wheedle their way out of anything that that happens - that is why I was looking for ideas to improve the situation.
    However, I am just a volunteer and I have no authority and this accompanied by a bunch of other stuff is making me feel like I should just walk away from the whole shebang.

  10. #9
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    As they say you can't put brains in statues and they do live amongst us.
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  11. #10
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    One shed that I am aware of has the photo of a members facial injuries from a kick back accident taped to the table saw fence.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    On Fridays I am supposed to supervise/coordinate the mens shed and we generally get about 15-20 attendees.

    We have a full safety induction, safety notices and signs, safety features in the newsletter, reminders etc.

    Here is a list of potentially unsafe activities I noted today.
    - using a wire wheel on a bench grinder with just regular eyeglasses
    - using a jointer on small stock with no push sticks.
    - using a screw driver as a push stick on a table saw
    - fiddling around with stock under an RAS with the arm fully extended and the blade running
    - not an activity but a donation from a member - a half dozen files with the the ends ground for wood turning.

    I'm quite a bit younger than most members, and I was not a tradie so don't have that credibility, so it's not that easy for me to convince the culprits to do the right thing.
    Does anyone have any ideas about how to get their attention about this?
    Hi Bob

    The message needs to create an instant understanding of the potential danger. Verbal warnings and oral lectures get lost and forgotten in the excitement of the moment. Written warnings and signs do not get read, especially if they involve more that two words!

    The best method to send the information is visual: photos of the outcomes (a hand cut off) and the odd common icon (such as a Stop sign) followed by a photo or brief pictorial (photo demonstration) of the correct method. Make sure there are plenty of push sticks to hand!

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    However, I am just a volunteer and I have no authority and this accompanied by a bunch of other stuff is making me feel like I should just walk away from the whole shebang.
    Hi Bob,
    In your opening statement, you quoted that "On Fridays I am supposed to supervise/coordinate the Mens shed and we generally get about 15-20 attendees".
    As a "supervisor", you have the authority, so it's up to you to do what is necessary to maintain a healthy work environment.
    Initially I would go up to the individual, ask them to switch the machine off, then ask if they know what they are doing wrong? If they say "no, they don't know" remind them politely, if it happens again, suggest that they do the "Safety" part of the induction again.
    A record of competencies should be kept,
    any reminders should be noted, alongside the name, so that other "supervisors" are made aware of problems.
    If there is no record of competencies, one should be instigated, this should be brought up at a Committee meeting, also set in motion that ALL supervisors, be made aware of any problems such as this, as it's easier to organise now before it becomes "this is the way we've always done it"
    I supervise the workshop at the Day Centre, where I volunteer, and this is what I do. I know it sounds a bit Draconian, but better to be this way and have a Community Shed than not have one.
    Regards
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    ... the members sign a form to say they have received safety training and will operate in a safe manner.
    Then they've breached their undertaking. Privileges revoked, as no-one wants to be picking fingertips out of the shavings bin. Just shut the machines off when they arrive. Even if you are a volunteer, you are still entitled to work somewhere without too much risk of getting splattered in blood.

  15. #14
    Mobyturns's Avatar
    Mobyturns is offline In An Instant Your Life Can Change Forever
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    No one is employed at the Shed so we are not subject to work cover rules.
    Bob, When I looked into this back in about 2007 things were still muddy, at least now Workcover has given some guidance on what is a "PCBU" or a "volunteer association." Most people have the mistaken impression that Workplace Health & Safety does not apply to not for profits including volunteer associations. Workplace Health & Safety Act does & it doesn't apply to "Volunteer Associations" depending upon various factors especially if the organization employs a "worker." If the organization pays a "worker", say to conduct beginners classes or similar, then the act applies to all in the shed/organization.

    The Workplace Health & Safety Act imposes duties upon various persons including a "a person conducting a business or undertaking. (PCBU)" Those duty holders must discharge their duties iaw the act & regs.

    https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/laws...and-volunteers - similar in other states

    The best advice is to comply with the Workplace Health & Safety Act - as it establishes a culture of assessing hazards and addressing risk.

    As a volunteer officer I'm not sure that I would stake my welfare upon the outcome of a court case and the potential interpretation that the "volunteer association" was in fact an "undertaking" for the purposes of the act.

    The duties basically are to provide and maintain,
    • a work environment without risks to health and safety
    • safe plant and structures
    • safe systems of work
    • the safe use, handling, storage and transport of plant, structures and substances
    • adequate facilities for the welfare at work of workers in carrying out work for the business or undertaking, including ensuring access to those facilities
    • information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking
    • and monitor the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace to prevent illness or injury of workers arising from the conduct of the business or undertaking.


    The safe systems of work and safe plant - should be paramount in any Mens Shed.

    All volunteer offices should ask the question - does the association employ any "workers."

    The only way you will control and eliminate unsafe behavior is through a system of training and monitoring compliance and some form of exclusion if a person does not comply, but that needs a committee with a backbone.
    Mobyturns

    In An Instant Your Life CanChange Forever

  16. #15
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    Interesting. You can't get people to protect themselves. They think the nanny state, the bureaucracy and others will help them.

    Tell them NO.

    NO work cover
    NO help when injured
    NO compensation
    NO coming back
    NO help

    Cameras. The cameras will record your stupidity and it will, as the cops say, be used against you.

    It is time our society accepted that these potential Darwinian Award winners are simply one activity away from pruning themselves off the tree.

    Protecting them has given them a false sense of safety. Strip their entitlement. Remove the reward for stupidity.

    Gruesome photos. Missing fingers. Torn off scalps. Missing eyes. Show them and tell them that not one cent is protecting them against this.

    Not One Cent.

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