Left-Handers School Experiences Survey Analysis: Dangers

Comments on safety devices and dangerous equipment

This is the full list of comments people made about problems with safety devices on equipment that cannot be used properly by left-handers and on dangerous equipment in general.

A lot of power tools are harder… even a retractable blade stanley knife can be tricky
All machinery handles and buttons are on the right. It’s a bit dodgy having to lean over when cutting something.
Always mounted for right handed use
as art teacher, I used a paper cutter made for right-hand
As with life !
chainsaws seem to be made for right-handed people.
Come to think of it, they do tend to be on the right!
Electric drills
Electric wheels in pottery classes.
Especially if they are placed on the right side of the machine. Or are designed for right-hand use with a thumb activated safety switch that cannot be operated with the left hand.
everything is positioned for a right handed person to use with ease
Everything is set up for the right-hander.
i almost sawed off my leg because the safety blade on a power saw was on the side for right handers
I always get so nervous working in shops because somehow, I always manage to do something backwards, and nearly cut off my hand.
i am a former furniture builder/woodworking teacher
I am a science teacher. Most of our equipment is designed for right-handers, such as focusing knobs only on the right side of a microscope.
I am in grade 3 and too young for this
I called in the HSE to the school about this. Nothing was done except I got detention over it.
I can remember this at school – using tools was difficult
I did cooking and found problems, in chopping food.
I did do woodwork for a while, and found that I had to do everything “backwards”
I did not take any such classes in school, but using right-handed tools at home (we have not left-handed tools al the rest of my family are right handers) has proved difficult.
i did not take these classes
I did when I was at school
I didn’t take these subjects.
I don’t have the time to point out all the hazards and challenges. I am in the Engineering field and everything is specifically designed for right handers!
I don’t know whether this is still the case but I do remember the awkwardness of this situation. One woodwork teacher even suggested that I shouldn’t do the practical element of the subject as I might be a danger to myself or others!! Cheers, Sir!
I don’t take any of those classes yet
I don’t take classes like that.
I don’t take these subjects
I don’t take those classes.
I had a machining lab sophomore yeah that was a little tricky because the switched weren’t all where I would have liked, I usually had to switch working hands to use the safety switches and that made my work a little more unstable.
I had a technology class one year and the machines were only usable for right handed people, so I always had to ask somebody else to do it.
I hate using the mechanical drills during Design and Technology lessons, because I feel so unsafe operating the drill with my right hand. Also, the emergency stop button is on the right hand side, making it awkward to get to.
I have never taken any of these classes.
I often found that power switches on radial arm saw, etc. was on and positioned for the right-handed users. I found I often had to cross my hands in an unsafe manner the first time I tried to use most of these power tools.
I once worked in a machine shop (in the office) and was given a tour of the manufacturing side. I almost cut off my hand just attempting to navigate one of the machines. I was not allowed to go into that area any more.
I seem to adapt to both worlds easy.
I study industrial design and its very bothering and dangerous to use the machines!
I tend to ask others to use the equipment as I ‘m afraid to injure myself
I took shop years ago and all emergency stops were for right handers. Also true in the production/manufacturing business.
I was always horrible in those classes & partly because I never got comfortable with the equipment.
I’m not really sure I didn’t have problems with it. Most of the switches are on the left side, but I guess that’s so the person can keep their hand on the wood while turning the machine off.
I’m so used to doing things with both hands, although my left hand is definitely dominant, a safety reflex wouldn’t be a problem because I would just use the nearest hand.
It has been the cause of several accidents
It might have been because they didn’t have those switches in the early eighties.
It’s annoying!!!!
I’ve decided to swap from left to right, because then I can use my left hand for writing and don’t have to exhaust one hand
i’ve just always been taught to do things right handed
just in ceramics class
Me and a lefty buddy of mine took wood shop together in middle school. We used to joke darkly about safety buttons on the power saws being in the wrong spot for us southpaws. The joke was, That’s why they call them kill switches.
mentioned above. also tools such as the lathe were impossibly positioned for me, and the tools weren’t sharp on the left-handed side.
metal work machines are set up for right handers so I found it awkward
more difficult and dangerous
Most equipment is designed for right-handed people. Look at the knobs and specially the turning knobs of your stereo equipment.

Most used knobs you’ll find them at the right-side of the tool.
My shop teacher made fun of my “lefty” technique
only when I started my apprenticeship did I find machine tools with knee-operated emergency switches.
Nothing is made for left-handed wood workers
On off switches on right, soldering machines, sewing machines, sewing scissors right handed
On/Off buttons frequently on right hand side of machines.
Perhaps employers will respond after emergency issues cause malfunctions.
Saws with right-handed blades
see “school equip hard to use” and I also have taken nursing courses, and well, I had to always switch everything up to make it left handed
some of the big saws give you the same problem as right handed scissors.
some equipment is harder to use but I just use it as others do.
Switches are generally on the right side of the machine.
table saws and radial arm saws and handheld power saws, power hand drills
tech drawing was not a problem. our teacher was a lefty, but using tool could be…
The button is on the left anyway. And there is one on the floor so you can use your feet.
the button is on the other side
the lock on mode on most power tools
The on off buttons are always on the right hand side but I didn’t not expect it as nearly everyone is right handed
The pillar drill, lathe and grinding wheel all had their emergency stops on the right.
the safety device was only ok if you used it in your r/h
the safety switches are generally on the right of the machine
the start buttons are all on the right
the switches are always on the wrong side so sometimes my left hand will involuntarily move pass the blade for the switch.
The teacher of my metal shop class was left-handed so he showed me some tricks.
There usually on the wrong side
they are always on the right hand side! also generally you have to hold your work in your left hand and operate the machine with your left (due to the position of buttons/levers etc) which made it harder
they are always on the right side.
they are placed above tables with a space to the left of them, easy for right handers
they don’t have any of those classes in my school
they’re always on the right side.
this was a problem when I worked in a factory
We had a sort of knifes that could only be used by right-handed people, because the sharp side was on the left of the knife.
We have a guillotine at work where you pull down a blade that is on the right hand side, so cannot always cut it well as I can’t see what I am doing. I seem to remember being pretty bad and chiseling and sawing when at School – my boats never got finished !
Well, the switches for the machines are always in the right. But I don’t mind. Almost everything I can do with my left hand I can do with my right.
When having to use them, I have four pair of eyes watching my own work.
When I took woodworking in school all there were were tools for right-handed.
When making instruments in Year.5 had difficulty using bigger scissors – needed to use them
yep, most definitely. if I ever got anything caught in a machine I don’t think I would have reached the switch
YES. Badly hurt and almost lost several fingers because a belt sander was only made for a right-handed user. I used it “properly” (right-handed, since I was afraid I ‘d hurt myself by crossing my arms over), but my right hand was not strong enough to hold the wood steady and slipped; my hand was pulled inside and sanded down to the bone.
Your dominant hand has to reach over a moving part to hit the stop button, some of the tools have special handles that I ‘m sure make it wonderful for right handers but it’s agony to use as a left hander – teachers would just tell you to use you right.
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