Tool Safety

drcubbin
Member
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:28 am
Division: B
State: NY
Location: Bay Academy, Brooklyn
Contact:

Tool Safety

Postby drcubbin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:11 am

I know there is always the concern of having a student slice off a finger (very bad) or becoming impaled on a flat - or Phillips - head screwdriver (also very bad), but I want my students to become familiar with using all tools necessary to build any item they need. I have been making all their cuts up to this point (as per their instructions), but it is getting a little tedious as there is not enough of me to go around. I was told to just have them sign a waiver. Seems a little weak, but I cannot think of any other options. Any thoughts?

JonB
Coach
Coach
Posts: 262
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:00 pm
Division: C
State: FL
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby JonB » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:19 am

drcubbin wrote:I know there is always the concern of having a student slice off a finger (very bad) or becoming impaled on a flat - or Phillips - head screwdriver (also very bad), but I want my students to become familiar with using all tools necessary to build any item they need. I have been making all their cuts up to this point (as per their instructions), but it is getting a little tedious as there is not enough of me to go around. I was told to just have them sign a waiver. Seems a little weak, but I cannot think of any other options. Any thoughts?


I know what you are going through- you can have them take it home and have one of their parents do it, or just keep cutting it yourself. It will always be tedious. Their are certain tools that I will allow them to use themselves such as non-powered hand tools and dremels with certain bits. There is an inherent danger associated with any tools- even scissors- that cannot be eliminated. We just have to do our best to teach them how to be safe, but things do happen. All we can do is minimize the chance.

Also, what power tools are you using in bridge building?

chalker
Member
Member
Posts: 2063
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:30 am
Division: Grad
State: OH
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby chalker » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:13 am

drcubbin wrote:I know there is always the concern of having a student slice off a finger (very bad) or becoming impaled on a flat - or Phillips - head screwdriver (also very bad), but I want my students to become familiar with using all tools necessary to build any item they need. I have been making all their cuts up to this point (as per their instructions), but it is getting a little tedious as there is not enough of me to go around. I was told to just have them sign a waiver. Seems a little weak, but I cannot think of any other options. Any thoughts?



I'm confused. What cuts are you making for them and what types of tools are you using? The only tools you should really require for Bridges is a straightedge, ruler, glue, and xacto knife. Nothing that isn't used in art classes all over the country every day - even in elementary schools. There shouldn't be any issue with letting kids use these things (with some initial training / guidance of course). The most common issue is getting superglue on your fingers, which is hardly a major concern to anyone.

Student Alumni
National Event Supervisor
National Physical Sciences Rules Committee Chair

User avatar
bernard
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 1867
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:12 pm
Division: Grad
State: WA
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby bernard » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:00 am

drcubbin wrote:I know there is always the concern of having a student slice off a finger (very ) or becoming impaled on a flat - or Phillips - head screwdriver (also very ), but I want my students to become familiar with using all tools necessary to build any item they need. I have been making all their cuts up to this point (as per their instructions), but it is getting a little tedious as there is not enough of me to go around. I was told to just have them sign a waiver. Seems a little weak, but I cannot think of any other options. Any thoughts?

I hosted a program over the summer where kids used the same knives we use for Bridge Building. though they were using them seemingly dangerously, remarkably none of them were hurt. I think letting the students cut wood themselves and use tools themselves is an experience that is very beneficial to them, if it means accidentally poking yourself a few times or gluing your fingers to a bridge. Your students probably have a range of experience building; for those who have little experience, I would work with them from the beginning. With practice, they'll be able toit on their own.
"One of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there."

iwonder
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 1106
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 3:25 am
Division: Grad
State: TX
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby iwonder » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:26 am

drcubbin wrote:I know there is always the concern of having a student slice off a finger (very bad) or becoming impaled on a flat - or Phillips - head screwdriver (also very bad), but I want my students to become familiar with using all tools necessary to build any item they need. I have been making all their cuts up to this point (as per their instructions), but it is getting a little tedious as there is not enough of me to go around. I was told to just have them sign a waiver. Seems a little weak, but I cannot think of any other options. Any thoughts?


I'll be honest, I've cut myself and seen other people cut themselves with xacto knifes, it's bad, but, for the best intentions out there it's just something that's going to happen to all of us (or maybe it's just me...). If they're taught the safety aspect of it, i.e. this end is sharp, don't cut towards yourself, don't poke people with it, never use a lot of pressure, etc, then imho it's absolutely fine to have them doing their own work. And frankly, the mechanics of how you cut a piece of wood for bridges can have a big impact in how the structure performs, so it's good learning there too.

And for the record (and I'm not saying it's bad, good, or anything, this is just an observation), I've never heard of students in the balsa events having a teacher cut their wood for them in the name of safety, they've always just learned proper knife skills.
'If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room' - Unknown

hogger
Member
Member
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby hogger » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:57 am

We use a little razor blade that cost maybe 10 cents a piece at Home Depot. It cuts much better than Xacto knife for us. Xacto knife tends to crush the balsa especially when the pieces are very light like contest grade balsa for Wright Stuff or flying events. When the blade gets dull, we just throw them away, very cheap to replace, not so much for Xacto knife blade. For larger and heavier pieces of balsa, we use Zona saw.

Yes kids once in a long while get a little bloody cut, we usually put on a bandaid and off they went to cut some more.

drcubbin
Member
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:28 am
Division: B
State: NY
Location: Bay Academy, Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby drcubbin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:44 pm

Many thanks for all responses. I should have been more specific regarding the tools we are using: miter box and fine tooth saw, hand held cutter (like pliers - yes, these do tend to crush the wood and produce an unwanted angle), balsa wood stripper (a great tool) and the X-Acto knife. Students do use the miter box, saw and hand help cutter. I have been leery about having them use the stripper and X-Acto knife though I know it is necessary. This is the first year working with students and sharp objects, though I have no problem having them handle HCl or NaOH solutions teaching chemistry. I should also add that I have done years of carpentry work but teach in NYC where the regs are a little "overly cautious" and so in turn can be detrimental to students growth and development.

I was wondering if anyone uses any waiver of sorts (in case the finger does go flying off into the unknown.)

drcubbin
Member
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:28 am
Division: B
State: NY
Location: Bay Academy, Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby drcubbin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:48 pm

Also to JonB, the above tools are being used for the Gliders and Bridges, but I am also allowing them to use the power drills, bits and hand saws for the Air Trajectory on their own. Those I have them use without any problem.

JonB
Coach
Coach
Posts: 262
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:00 pm
Division: C
State: FL
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby JonB » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:59 pm

drcubbin wrote:Many thanks for all responses. I should have been more specific regarding the tools we are using: miter box and fine tooth saw, hand held cutter (like pliers - yes, these do tend to crush the wood and produce an unwanted angle), balsa wood stripper (a great tool) and the X-Acto knife. Students do use the miter box, saw and hand help cutter. I have been leery about having them use the stripper and X-Acto knife though I know it is necessary. This is the first year working with students and sharp objects, though I have no problem having them handle HCl or NaOH solutions teaching chemistry. I should also add that I have done years of carpentry work but teach in NYC where the regs are a little "overly cautious" and so in turn can be detrimental to students growth and development.

I was wondering if anyone uses any waiver of sorts (in case the finger does go flying off into the unknown.)


Okay, this makes more sense now. I think all of those hand held tools should be okay to use without a waiver, but only you and your school/district can actually decide that. I have never used a waiver for any of those tools. My students seem to be pretty careful around blades of any type. Minor cuts will happen, but as long as they are using them in smart ways they should be pretty good.

drcubbin
Member
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:28 am
Division: B
State: NY
Location: Bay Academy, Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby drcubbin » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:59 pm

I spoke with my principal today and here is the dilemma. While I want the students to do all of the building themselves (including cutting the wood with saws, miter boxes as well as X-Acto knives) my principal has an issue with the X-Acto knives being classified as a weapon. We ARE in New York after all. I have no issue with them using the X-Actos. This is just the can of worms I was reluctant to open. She feels we may need to have a waiver or parent permission slip signed by the parents so that no problems arise.

Is there anyone out there who has ever used such a permission slip? It would make my life much easier :oops: ;) 8-)

chalker
Member
Member
Posts: 2063
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:30 am
Division: Grad
State: OH
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby chalker » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:31 am

drcubbin wrote:I spoke with my principal today and here is the dilemma. While I want the students to do all of the building themselves (including cutting the wood with saws, miter boxes as well as X-Acto knives) my principal has an issue with the X-Acto knives being classified as a weapon. We ARE in New York after all. I have no issue with them using the X-Actos. This is just the can of worms I was reluctant to open. She feels we may need to have a waiver or parent permission slip signed by the parents so that no problems arise.

Is there anyone out there who has ever used such a permission slip? It would make my life much easier :oops: ;) 8-)



Interesting. I hadn't considered that from that perspective before. Have you spoken with the art teacher at your school regarding how they handle this situation? Small knifes and such are very common tools in art classes for a variety of tasks. Alternatively, check with the biology teacher. Many biology classes involve things like worm or frog dissection, which also require small knifes.

Student Alumni
National Event Supervisor
National Physical Sciences Rules Committee Chair

User avatar
bernard
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 1867
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:12 pm
Division: Grad
State: WA
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby bernard » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:34 am

drcubbin wrote:I spoke with my principal today and here is the dilemma. While I want the students to do all of the building themselves (including cutting the wood with saws, miter boxes as well as X-Acto knives) my principal has an issue with the X-Acto knives being classified as a weapon. We ARE in New York after all. I have no issue with them using the X-Actos. This is just the can of worms I was reluctant to open. She feels we may need to have a waiver or parent permission slip signed by the parents so that no problems arise.

Is there anyone out there who has ever used such a permission slip? It would make my life much easier :oops: ;) 8-)

Our lab science classes have a very general safety form that students sign, but I don't think it is any form of waiver. Also, I think the waiver or permission slip might vary depending on the district, so this is an issue I would check with the district on.
"One of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there."

drcubbin
Member
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:28 am
Division: B
State: NY
Location: Bay Academy, Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Tool Safety

Postby drcubbin » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:18 am

Thanks Chalker and Bernard! I will get on those suggestions (I am right next to our art teacher so I'll ask her first.) :P


Return to “Bridge Building B/C”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest