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 Post subject: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Thu 19, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: Houston, TX
With the recent thread on HV dangers specifically, and another in the Test Equipment category on radiation and other hazards, it occurred to me that there doesn't seem to be a sticky regarding shop/bench safety, which could be particularly valuable to new players – some old players could use lecturing, too, seriously.

IMO, such a sticky should go in this subforum and the Test Equipment and Tools subforum, since shop/bench design and setup should take various safety issues into account.

In the aforementioned Test Equipment thread, I posted this link to a fairly decent safety write-up.

That page is hardly complete, though. For one thing, the author mentions fire hazards multiple times, yet says nothing of having an extinguisher in the shop! Perhaps the need for one was supposed to be a given and the author assumed readers would have one elsewhere in their house/building. I think it should be included in that text, with recommendations as to type, location, etc.

My ABC workspace extinguisher is mounted on the wall (via snap retainer bracket) a few feet away from my bench, at about a 30° angle behind where my caster chair sits in its bench pocket. I can get to it super fast. Everybody who works on electronics should have one in a handy location.
And yet, I've seen 360° tour pics/videos of well-equipped shops/benches, some owned by very experienced techs/engineers, some bursting at the seams with gear, chemicals and various other materials, some with powered soldering irons in precarious positions, etc., but no extinguisher in sight or even the briefest mention of one.
Foolishness. I guess the mindset at work here is like "pro" woodworkers who never use a blade guard: "It'll never happen to me. I know what I'm doing. I can't see through that thing anyway!" Then they cut their fingers off and sue the tool manufacturer. :roll: And don't get me started on SawStop.
Back to fire safety, if one can afford it, an overhead supression system is obviously nice to have if things get out of control. :mrgreen:

How seriously do you take shop safety? Would your workspace pass an unannounced OSHA inspection? I suspect my layout would, when it's in use, that is – ATM, I'm prepping to move, so the bench isn't "active" status and there's clutter.

Perhaps an open sticky wherein users could add tips to it would be useful.


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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 20, 2018 12:45 am 
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One of the things that have been made Mandatory here are the RCD's (GFCI) and are retro fitted when electrical work is done: That has happened here with a major upgrade. Note my comment re transformers. In certain situations RCD's can represent a false sense of security. Carelessness has its ramifications. Albeit I have made surge arrestor's to take advantage of them.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 20, 2018 12:53 am 
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Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Here is an informative safety primer that some may find interesting.
Image
Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 20, 2018 9:37 pm 
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Right, Photoshop is great, ain't it?

Shop Safety is No Accident! 8)
I need a trip switch that turns off power to my bench automatically. But then I'd forget to check if it's working. :x
Just once this winter, I left irons hot and equipment running overnight, not good. I have a 120 volt LED pilot light on my irons, usually.

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 20, 2018 9:49 pm 
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For those of you without a shop's Big-switch...
Plugging your soldering iron into a three way along with a kids night-light ensures you remember to switch it off when leaving the shop.

Image

just tape over the sensor.
Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 20, 2018 10:33 pm 
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the sheet is great, but long.
I believe in 1 page forms, notices and the like. I'd rather someone read a 1 page summary rather than not read at all pages 2 and 3.

+1 on the fire extinguisher, 1 in the shop and 1 shared between kitchen and attached garage, both big, serviced and accessible

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 20, 2018 10:47 pm 
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Location: Mpls, Minnesota
We don't need any more stickeys, we have too many now.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 21, 2018 3:42 am 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
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Location: Houston, TX
glue_ru wrote:
I'd rather someone read a 1 page summary rather than not read at all pages 2 and 3.


A locked, single page would work, if a mod is willing to update it as useful tips come in — maybe have poll votes determine what gets added.


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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 21, 2018 4:03 am 
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Location: Houston, TX
For the trip switch, a simple project that would work well, if you don't tend to fall asleep in the shop or at the bench, is a cheap narrow field motion sensor or IR beam across the doorway, with a timer set to the desired delay before killing bench power.

When you leave the room, the timer trips, and if you don't return within the set time, the bench or desired parts of bench get shutdown.

One of the inexpensive occupancy/vacancy sensors should be relatively easy to mod with a timer.
These are actually available with timers built-in, but most, if not all, of them shut off lights (or devices for the ones with jacks) after a preset time of no motion detected and don't turn them on until motion is detected. If your workspace is smallish, a single unit would keep power supplied to the bench, as long as you moved occasionally. If you want a larger shop area covered, I suppose you could wire several of these in parallel.


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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 21, 2018 5:27 am 
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Vin Tageman wrote:
glue_ru wrote:
I'd rather someone read a 1 page summary rather than not read at all pages 2 and 3.


A locked, single page would work, if a mod is willing to update it as useful tips come in — maybe have poll votes determine what gets added.

You're assuming that it'll be read by all visitors; that's a tall order.

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 21, 2018 5:53 am 
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Some of us can't read

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 21, 2018 5:12 pm 
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This sticky would be of value to those who chose to read it, just like any other informative post on the forum.
Being a sticky, it should be easier to locate than some other posts, though.

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 21, 2018 6:27 pm 
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I would be all for a simple, straightforward, down-to-earth discussion of safety practices that doesn't launch into crazy talk of death and destruction if you so much pat an electron on its head without isolation/grounding/GFCI outlets/high voltage insulation/fires/polarized plugs/mercury/hands in pockets/fuses/radiation/cadmium/toxic selenium rectifiers/circuit breakers/wood benches/etc., etc., etc. Now we've got fire extinguishers and OSHA to worry about too? The lawyers lurking in the background should have a field day with that.

Maybe we should tell people to just forget about this old radio stuff, every last bit of it is hazardous to the health if ingested, smoked, or used in the bathtub. Electromagnetic radiation causes death, sterility, or baldness. This old junk was made by savages who didn't know what they were doing, so throw everything away before the landfill police come to your house in moon suits and cart it all off to a hazmat site--and you to a mental institution just for harboring it. Just buy cheap Chinese headphone receivers, but never wear them in the rain, then the only thing about radio that's still toxic you'll have to deal with is the programming!

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Sat 21, 2018 9:21 pm 
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Location: Houston, TX
Then there are those who take it to the opposite extreme and shrug off practically everything as being alarmist.

It's obviously incumbent upon the individual to judge for themselves what they need to be concerned about. As long as hard facts are presented, it doesn't really matter whether the messenger comes off as alarmist or extremist. Facts are facts and everything else is opinion — I have a gift for stating the obvious sometimes. Most people can surf the net and determine which is which in short order. If they're motivated to learn how to repair this gear, they might just be motivated enough to stay as safe as possible.
In that case, why even bother with any safety related posts at all? Occasional disinformation on the net notwithstanding, experience is a good teacher, which helps separate fiction and exaggeration from the truth; it can also help guide the inexperienced along a straighter path to a happier future. Not everyone has the same experiences, to be sure, but collectively, there is generally merit in the imparting of solid information.

I don't know about lawyers having a field day, but insurance adjusters might. Many insurance companies will flatly refuse — supported by the contract terms that the customer forgot they agreed to — to pay out if certain safeguards were not in place before a fire event (and/or using the home/building as a workshop in the first place, for that matter).
A fire extinguisher is rather cheap insurance against loss of costly bench gear and other assets, potentially including the home/building and loved ones.
I'm sure that to some folks, $20-$30 and 5-10 minutes worth of installation effort isn't a worthwhile investment. That's fine for them, but I personally feel more secure in the knowledge that I can likely prevent an absolute catastrophe from occurring simply by putting out a small fire quickly. If this preventive philosophy makes me an alarmist, I'll wear the label with pride, and I'll be less nervous (though hopefully not complacent) at my bench. :)


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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Apr Sun 22, 2018 4:05 am 
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People will do what they want, and ignore advice they don't like, so posting about a hazard won't frighten too many people away.
I have a fire extinguisher by the door to my shop. But it should be on a wall mount, instead of on a shelf with junk shoved in around it. Thanks for the heads up.

I'll think about the motion detector, or maybe just a timer set to a reasonable time period.

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 4:22 am 
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I have two easy access fire extinguishers in the shop. I've always had several of them in the house since we live way out of town.

My shop is in the basement, and each bench has it's own "master" switch, which also controls the associated lighting for each. So when I leave, if the basement is dark, EVERYTHING is off.

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 5:55 am 
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
Shop safety switch should consider some ideas from the industrial side.

Low voltage release, or low voltage protection.

If power goes off , when it restores , is a reset required.

Watch dog timer.

This watches various conditions, and if one or more shown no activity it trips.

86 device.

The 86 device is a trip, that requires reset, and has a wide variety if
conditions that can trip it

Wouldn`t this look good on your shop wall.
Attachment:
Panalarm.JPG
Panalarm.JPG [ 23.85 KiB | Viewed 738 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 6:37 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Albuquerque, NM 87123
In my humble opinion, a fire extinguisher near an electronics bench would be a total waste of time, for two good reasons:

1. If you are in the habit of practicing common safety measures then you simply do not set fire to things or blow things up.

2. On the other hand, if you commonly leave soldering irons on, throw trash all around your bench, leave unsafe devices plugged in, or expose flammable liquids to sparks or a heat source, then NO amount of "safety measures" will help you. To be blunt, you are an accident waiting to happen. You couldn't be trusted with a bent screwdriver, let alone potentially dangerous electrical tools. I doubt that even a sprinkler system would be effective in your situation.

I've have been a tech for 47 years and only twice have I seen flames from malfunctioning electronics, and those self-extinguished in a matter of seconds. A fire extinguisher would be less than useless; it would be destructive.

If you like to leave oily rags around, un-restored antique electronics operating, or powered soldering irons under Photofacts then you need to brush up your Last Will and Testament. Kidde won't help you.


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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 12:29 pm 
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A fire extinguisher in the house is a excellent idea, whether you have a work bench or not.

Using good judgement with heat sources and flammable substances is important too, but does not rule out the possibility of a fire.

Even if the risk of a fire may be low, the consequences are high and a fire extinguisher lowers the risk.

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 Post subject: Re: shop safety sticky?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 12:54 pm 
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Vin Tageman wrote:
some old players could use lecturing, too, seriously.


Go lecture someone else.

There's more than enough net-nanny bovine effluent and paranoia around here now, what with fears that we'll all die just from looking at asbestos or that every radio without a power transformer is a lethal weapon. These people are adults. They'll only be as safe as their DNA decrees.


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