In the product development and design thinking world, people often reference "pain points" when referring to a user need that is sufficiently "painful" to warrant them buying something to alleviate it. With #Grinder Minder, our investigation of pain points is a tad more nuanced. It was put best by Socrates in 381 BCE.
"In our case it all boils down to one question - how dangerous is a bench grinder and how much do people actually care?" ~Socrates, in his treatise on pre-industrial power tool safety.
Today's project log is about the first part of this timeless question - how dangerous is a bench grinder - I mean, really!? The first step in that research was learning what not do in this kind of research. For example, don't turn off image safe search when searching "bench grinder injury". Just don't. It's gross.
Based on our informal conversations with hobbyists, students, and professionals alike, people have WIDELY varying views. Some folks are scared to death of the spinning death trap that screams at them for two minutes every time they grind their tungsten for another tig weld. Others yarn on about the inherent risks of using power tools and believe that "anyone stupid enough to injure themselves on a grinder shouldn't be using one". Neither of those perspectives are particularly helpful so in advance of our more formal customer research, we spent some time looking for some data. Here are our initial findings:
- On the consumer side, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reports over 2,800 bench grinder injuries in the last five years, with over 200 being injuries to minors.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF) Database reports over 4,900 occupational grinder injuries and 3 deaths over the last five years.
- And both of these quantities are just reported figures and don't include the myriad of small injuries that never get reported.
Ok, now go do that image search and multiply those images times the numbers you see above. Yikes!