Safety, scars, and tattoos

Posted 3-3-2016
safety scars and tatoosOur customers teach us lessons all the time. Mostly positive, but on occasion, we learn that you can’t be too careful. I want to share one such story – a customer that has become a friend, and a mistake he made. And hopefully, sharing his story can help you from making a mistake.

Dead center in front of your Wood Beaver controls, there is a sticker on the chain guard. It reads “This Machine Has No Brain, Use Your Own.” The phone call starts something like this… “Hey XXXXX, how are you?” “Well, I promise to obey the sticker going forward…”

He proceeded to regale me with a tale of bypassing some safety features and operating alone. The story has a happy ending, he gets some stitches, but does no permanent damage, other than a scar and a story. And he finishes the conversation with, “I promise, I will follow the sticker from now on!”

So why share this story? Well, we can only do so much when it comes to safety. We all do things we know we shouldn’t. That last thought before we do it being, “Gee, I probably shouldn’t do this, but…” All the guards in the world won’t make you safe. We build a lot of safety into these machines, but no safety in the world can protect you from yourself. These machines truly have no brain, USE YOUR OWN!

As you look at firewood processors, think about the level of safety involved. Not only operator safety, but safety of everyone around the machine. This is why at Wood Beaver we don’t use any circular saws, those machines put an inch (or less) of plastic in front of the operator for protection, but that can’t protect anyone else. It is why our very strong chain guard (it doesn’t wobble while you run your machine) fully encloses the chain (even the back), so there is no way you can accidentally get into range of the chain while it is running. It is why you can’t reach into the saw without bypassing safeties, they are there to protect you. It is why you can’t stick your hand into the splitting well while at the control panel, no sense making it so you can have your hands in harms way.

So what does any of this have to do with tattoos? Haven’t you heard, scars are tattoos with real stories. Never had a tattoo, but someday, I’ll tell you the story about the scar under my right arm… had something to do with not using my brain… 

Bryndon O’Hara
General Manager
Wood Beaver Forestry