I read this thread and kind of laughed...not at the injury mind you because as a former Safety Coordinator I would never do that...no I was laughing because you hit on a very important aspect of safety....the realization that behavior is te key to keeping all your digits.
Quite a few years ago when I was working for the railroad, we looked at our safety record and realized that we were in bad shape. Our injuries were at the highest levels in a decade, and insurance, production, profits and even the railroad's safety ethics were suffering because of it. We realized that we had got procedures in place, good training was being done, everything had guards...the only thing we were not addressing was peoples behavior.
So we started a new safety program called "BRI" or Behavior Risk Improvement. What we did was target why people did or did not do things. For a couple of years I worked real hard at selling this to the guys in the Maintenance of Way Crews. We got them to think about safety by observing how each other did certain tasks and had them jot down ways to improve things. What surprised me was, the workers had a ton of good ideas, it was the mid-level management that had a hard time swallowing the safety change.
On one crew I had, they had three injuries in a month. When I talked to the supervisor on that crew he said "all my guys are stupid", which I did not buy. All the injuries were because people were working on things without locking/ tagging them out...a behavior issue. I asked him if he ever told his guys to make things were locked out? The answer was no. I then asked him if he ever complimented someone who did lock things out. He said no because it was their job. So in the end what I realized was that this supervisor set up and environment where getting the job done fast and quick got compliments, not doing it safely. Those were the guys I targeted and soon the safety atmosphere changed.
In fact we started BRI in December and in the first year alone it saved the railroad 1.25 million dollars with less injuries than the previous year. All it took was getting people to stop and think about what they were doing.
Now even in a one man shop, you can apply the BRI safety Idea to yourself and save yourself time and aggravation. The key is to look for the patterns. Try to figure out what three of your worst safety habits are. Perhaps its having the table saw blade up to high, or maybe its not using a push sticks enough, or maybe its having a shop cluttered with clamps, tripping hazards and the like. You can't change everything over night, but if you pick three of your worst safety habits, and really try to improve them over the next month, you will quickly change that bad habit into a good one. After those three have become pretty good, pick three more and so one. You will be surprised how quickly and safely you work. Believe it or not, it really does work, and works exceedingly well.
Now I am not trying to preach to anyone here, but woodworking is supposed to be fun for many of us weekend wood butchers, and a paycheck for the rest. We really need to be safe in our shops. Hey did you know that for the average person between 24 and 52 years old, the greatest finical asset they have is not their car, truck, life insurance policy or even their home, but rather THEIR ABILITY TO EARN AN INCOME? Its pretty hard to do that when you are missing a hand, or nursing a bad back because you tried to lift that Curio cabinet alone. Keeping that in mind we all need to be safe.
Thanks for bringing that to our attention Bill. You are spot on. Our behavior is the key to safety.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"