So, yesterday it finally happened.
I was doing some rough turning at work using the Elliott 40/400 lathe. The chuck jaws were a bit stiff so I took them out, cleaned them up, lubricated the scroll and started to replace the jaws.
The chuck key was in place as I, obviously, needed to sequentially wind in the jaws.
I dropped one of the jaws.
Now, they are not particularly heavy. But heavy enough to knock down the clutch lever and start the machine in reverse.
Luckily the chuck key jammed against the bed after a fraction of a turn. A quick jab of the emergency button brought things to an end.
My colleagues pretended not to notice.
I have changed jaws many times. And never thought to do the obvious. I.e. switch off the power first.
However, no injury, no damage apart from a bent chuck key (16 MM bar) and a dented ego.
Maybe it is time I retired for good.