Slemon Park worker lost part of his hand, says Occupational Health and Safety

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Worker told investigators he thought machine was not operating when he tried to clear a blockage

Snowblower

SLEMON PARK – A Slemon Park employee was unaware that the snowblower he was operating was still engaged when he injured himself trying to clear a blockage earlier this month.

Bill Reid, director of Occupational Health and Safety, says the worker was attempting to clear the blockage in the machine's chute when he sustained a serious injury to his hand.

"Basically, he lost half of his hand as a result of thinking that the equipment was not running," Reid said.

Reid said investigators have talked to the employee and recorded his account of what happened

“We are just a little bit further along in our investigation,” Reid said. “We know that the worker attempted to clear a clog in the chute of the snowblower and used his hand to clear it thinking that the auger in the machine wasn’t running but it was."

Reid said the investigation is continuing and will involve examining the equipment and the safeguards that were on the equipment. 

Reid is advising the public to take extreme care when operating snowblowers this winter.

“The message is, never stick your hand in a chute to clear it,” he said. “Use a tool. Never assume it’s not running or under power.”

Geographic location: Slemon Park

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  • Snowdon
    December 13, 2013 - 07:40

    Even if he were to have powered down the machine (cut the gas, stopped the motor.) often there is pressure on the auger and blade that forces the snow out the chute, when you remove the blockage these parts move quickly releasing the pressure that was built up before jamming, always use a tool, lots of trees, grab a branch and use it to clear any blockage!