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I Forge Iron

Secure rigging or safety toe shoes?


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When was the last time you took time to secure a piece of work to the table top with clamps, chains, tack welds etc?

The question arose when an assembly moved when the welding spudder balls and swarf acted like ball bearings and project came to rest closer than I would like to the table edge.

Do you take any extra precaution when making "light" lifts in the 50-200 pound range? Everyone gets out of the way when you lift thousands of pounds into the air, but they will work under, or walk under, lighter loads.

Any stories you wish to post so the rest of us can recognize trouble when we see it?

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I used to be pretty casual when loading my truck to go do a demo until I talked with a smith who had been in a panic stop situation and had the anvil that was riding in back by the tailgate slide all the way up and put the horn through the front of the bed and into the cabin as a new armrest.---about a foot over and he would have never walked again.

Now the anvils go in first and are *flat* against the front wall. I also put long stock only on the unused passenger side or down the middle if I have a passenger.

My personal experiences include moving a triphammer in my van lying down; but without tying it down and having a farmer pull out in front of me in his granny gears on a steep hill down and having the hammer slide forward and push my seat up against the steeringwheel.

Also once using a tree to unload a triphammer and seeing the trunk split.

In the shop I try never to be under anything that would hurt and also try to crib anything being mechanically lifted so if there is a failure the item can only drop a very short way onto the cribbing.

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Just the other day, I was collecting junk metal from the sides of some of the back-roads out my way and I happened on one of the large metal spools for piping or conduit or whatever. I know that this particular spool has been there for well over 6 months with no apparent attention. I looked at it up close to see how useable it might be and found that the center pieces connecting the two big (nine to ten feet in diameter) were actually thick-wall 1.5 inch square tubing held to the sides with pins.

I checked the some of the pins and found that they came out easily after a little encouragement. I started pulling pins and got ahead of myself by not dropping the bars before going onto the next one. I ended up having one of the bars drop on my noggin from about eight feet. I got a little egg and no blood, so that was good. But I also realized that, if the bar were any bigger, I might not have fared so well.

I luckily walked away from there just saying over and over "what a doofus boy. ouch"

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  • 3 weeks later...

About 6 months ago I was at work carrying a large pnumatic grease barrel pump (picture long and skinny about the size of a mounted machine gun and about 100#) up three flights of stairs, I stoped at the top of the stairs to take a breather and rested the part that goes in the barrel on a hand rail while the other end was on my shoulder. the darn thing slipped off the handrail and the 2" round end went straight down on the top of my foot. Luckily we wear metatarsal safety boots at work the pump hit with enough force to break the plastic metatarsal gaurd and make my foot black and blue for a week, but I may have lost it without them. I never buy boots without steel toes but I am concidering metatarsals for my shop boots after the grease pump incident. It only takes a second for an accident to cause a lot of pain. I imagine toes come off as easy as fingers do (your fingers will come off really easily don't ask me how I know) and it can be totally avoided with proper boots, cribbing, clamping, and safety procedures

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  • 2 months later...

I have spent many years rigging and moving heavy industrial equipment. To date, I still have all my fingers and toes!!! Remember, if you have anything rigged and lifted, do not put anything under it that you are not willing to leave there permanently. Like toes, feet , fingers, etc.
Be very patient and THINK when you setting up a pick. It doesn't matter if it is just winching up your anvil or cribbing up a 12000# Beche Lufthammer!!! Be patient,, always think 4 steps ahead. Over built and rigging system you might need to create. Sweep the floor around your rigging area. You might be surprised how easily a 1/8th inch nut can stop a very heavy lift on skates.

AND never pick anything up unless you know where you are going to put it.

Be safe folks.

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