Non- Events

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Forum topic by David Craig posted 02-26-2012 06:54 AM 1464 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David Craig

2137 posts in 3138 days

02-26-2012 06:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: safety non-event proactive splitter

I work in IT and with the last company I worked for, we invested in a great deal of auto-monitoring software and invested much time and energy into developing a pro-active response team to troubleshoot issues before they affected our clients. Unfortunately, our management graded us on response to issues and not in issue prevention. So one of the things I attempted to push was reporting Non-Events.

Non Events are events that would have happened had we not responded like we did. Preventative measures that kept events from happening, but reported so everyone knew the investments were worth the money as they saved costly real events from occurring. As much as I respect those that bite the bullet, admit to a safety failing, and share their experience of injury or project damage to us to serve as a warning, I would also like to see some Non- Event reporting here as well. Has there been a moment that could have been real ugly had you not been proactive and utilized some safety mechanisms in the shop? Some moments where your safe habits and investments in these types of devices caused nothing to happen?

I will give an example. I was cutting some SYP I picked up from a lumber yard. One of the boards was made up of some reactionary wood. As I cut the board, the end that passed through the saw clamped itself to my splitter. Hold downs were in place, the blade was not pinched because the splitter kept the blade from binding, but that board gripped the splitter with everything it had. Nothing was thrown at me, no kickback occurred. The only thing I had to do was turn off the saw and tap a small hardwood wedge into the freshly cut end. I turned back on the saw and finished the cut. Only negative was a slight burn on the edge where it had some friction from the blade running against the wood for a few seconds longer than it should have. No harm no foul, no trip to ER, no board flying against the wall. Just a simple non-event that I would not even give a moment of thought to except for the fact that I knew what would have happened had these features not been utilized.

What about the rest of you? Have any Non-Events to share?


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

9 replies so far

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3197 days

#1 posted 02-26-2012 08:08 AM

I like this creative topic you started here. Unfortunetly I usualy have “events” not harmful to me but my project. I think non – everts should also be for safety of the project. For me the most recent non – event at my shop would be using a router. With the router I needed to cut a chamfer in a board with a dado along one edge. If I didn’t put a peice of wood in the dado I would have damaged the board by cutting too deep. Sorry thats the best I got. LOL.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2669 days

#2 posted 02-26-2012 08:47 AM

Hmmm. So I take it that Non-events are near misses… or potential misses of a dangerous event ? Our tools and our procedures for using those tools (whether taken for granted or not) are inherently loaded with our “plans” to master the potential and kinetic energy that could cause an “event”.

Even though almost the same thing you describe happened recently (mine was a slightly warped poplar glue-up), I do not consider that a Non-event because the magnetic featherboard, the push stick and my position behind the saw left me in control during the non-occurrence. There was not even one split second of Oops or Whew involved. That is why I had them in place / use (because of the possibility / eventual likelihood of such things happening).

No, I have no “Non-events” to report.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2833 days

#3 posted 02-26-2012 12:48 PM

Thnx for sharing that moment David. I had to do pretty much the same thing once, with, shutting down the saw like you explained. It was a very scary and awkward moment, and thankfully, no harm done, other than a little cosmetic boo-boo on the edge. I am, or, shall I say, try to be “safety-conscious” every time before I flip a switch on any power tool. Simple boo-boo’s can also happen with hand tools, if a person is not paying attention. Thnx for the post, and the reminder to everyone, just be careful. Happy & safe woodworking to all.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3138 days

#4 posted 02-26-2012 01:48 PM

Actually, a non-event is a miss and not a near miss. As comedian George Carlin would have said, a near miss is actually a hit :) David, what you described is a non-event. In my description, I did not lose control because precautions were in place. Nothing happened because they were. Thanks for the responses so far, keep them coming.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2704 days

#5 posted 02-26-2012 02:33 PM

I hope this counts.
I had a “non-event” yesterday. I pulled an all-nighter for work Friday night, driving a plow/salter truck. On Saturday, I was in such a fog, that I choose not to go into the WW shop. An accident was averted, by a tired zombie who choose not to operate anything that could cause pain or injury! The TV remote was dangerous enough!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3193 days

#6 posted 02-26-2012 03:02 PM

I plan a totally different dust control and splitter arrangement on my table saw. It is about half way done. But for the time being, I am stuck with the old guard. I modified that guard and splitter so I can literally take it off or put it on in under 30 seconds, usually about 20 seconds. That way, I always use the guard when it is feasible to use it. Needless to say, it requires no tools. I didn’t buy anything….....just used a couple of knobs I had in the shop. My saw is an old Delta Contractor’s saw with the bulky guard and splitter with pawls.

On my super sled, I have a stop, so that the sled is stopped before the blade can come through the bury block. This involved attaching a stop on the side of the saw, and having a stop on the sled.

Making safety easy, is a part of being safe.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2504 days

#7 posted 02-26-2012 03:42 PM

David Craig, I am confused as to your definition of non-event. Was not the binding material an event? At work a guy dropped a wrench, it fell about thirty five feet. Had that wrench made contact with a worker below or scared a worker below into a reaction mistake of their own there could have been a recordable / reportable event. Even though no one was in the fall area, it was an event, it was a near miss.

I do agree that safety is of paramount importance, and reporting events in the could of, would of, should of, categories provides a valuable learning experience for us all. You have a very good topic, but I feel your definition of non-event is confusing.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3138 days

#8 posted 02-26-2012 04:08 PM

I apologize for not being clear. Kind of a conceptual thing and I am not always the best at putting them into words. I will try and explain this a little better.

When people describe a near miss, they are usually talking about a moment of carelessness that didn’t result in a tragedy because they were lucky. Ooops, I left that ruler next to the saw blade, I turned my saw on and the ruler went flying by me, thank God no one was injured…

In my description, the non-event was binding of the wood (potential event) but because I had a splitter and hold downs in place, nothing happened. I was in control, the potential event of kickback did not occur (not a near miss because the board didn’t go flying and almost hit me). Not because I was lucky, but because I was using safety features in advance.

Does that make more sense?

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2872 days

#9 posted 02-26-2012 06:26 PM

The guy dropped a wrench. It fell until it reached the end of the saftey lanyard it was attached to.

David, I agree these “non events” should be appreciated. -Jack

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