A hand surgeon looks at how accidents happen
Synopsis: Woodworker and hand surgeon Dr. E. Jeff Justis talks about three main causes for injuries in the woodshop: inattention through repetition, an unanticipated happening, and inexperience or overconfidence. He offers tips on how to avoid these injuries, such as by using push sticks and other safety devices, not working when tired, and by pausing after every couple of repeat operations to refocus and regain full awareness. Many of the victims he’s met had 20 or more years of experience as woodworkers when they were hurt and have lessons to share on avoiding their situations. A separate article discusses bad judgment brought on by fatigue as another major cause of injury.
Wood-workers relish the feel of a tenon sliding into its mortise, and the smooth texture of a newly finished piece of furniture. Our fingertips are so sensitive that we can feel blemishes and flaws in our woodwork that are…