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Tired, in a hurry, don't do what I did - bad accident - end mill defeated finger.

Discussion in 'SAFETY ISSUES & EQUIPMENT' started by davidpbest, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    It is always sad to hear of accidents that turn out bad. Thank you, David, for your incredible sharing of this accident during what must be a difficult time for you. Not many of us would do the same, self shame feelings would likely get in the way. All of us here are hoping for the best possible outcome for you. It often turns out better than expected. The body is a great healing machine and modern medical practice has learned how to improve outcomes quite a lot. Your post would make an excellent sticky on one of the beginner forums, and perhaps re-posted occasionally to remind all of us that safety is serious business.
     
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  2. jpooch00

    jpooch00 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Well, s**t happens, I guess. Could have been a lot worse. Welcome to the club!!! ;)

    Didn't have the guts to view the enlarged pic.
     
  3. BFHammer

    BFHammer United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    David

    Sorry to hear about your accident. An important reminder to all of us to that the machines and tools we use are not forgiving. If we're honest we've all had those stupid momentary lapses of good judgement. Thank you for sharing yours as it may well prevent an accident for someone else.

    Best wishes for your recovery.

    On a lighter note - you are a true HM member - you took time to snap some photos for the forum BEFORE going to the hospital! :)
     
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  4. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Active Member Active Member

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    Ouch owe , sorry to see and hear of the accident. That's the reason to post it. Maybe it will keep just one from reaching in with a machine that has no feelings at all. I hope and pray it all heals and works right.
     
  5. davidpbest

    davidpbest Active Member Active Member

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    Quick follow-up to thank everyone for their good wishes. Turns out there wasn't enough viable tissue on the nail side of the finger to save it, so a few days ago I had the last digit on the finger amputated. I now also answer to the name Stubby. Be safe.
     
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  6. dieselshadow

    dieselshadow United States Do you smell something? H-M Supporter-Premium

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    How are you how are you holding up otherwise David?
     
  7. This Old Lathe

    This Old Lathe United States Iron Registered Member

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    Been there, done that. In my case it was a biscuit saw. Carbide makes short work of tissue removal. I didn't lose a significant part of my thumb, but it took years to fully recover feeling in the tip as a result of nerve damage. Best wishes on a speedy recovery!
     
  8. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf South Africa Swarf Registered Member

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    Sorry to hear of your injury, David.
    In my nearly 50 years around machinery, including 7 years as an OH&S inspector with our Department of Labour, I haven't come across a machine with a conscience.
    Thanks for sharing the reminder with us all, and here's wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Regards,
    Russell
     
  9. JimmyDee

    JimmyDee United States Swarf Registered Member

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    Time and again we're told, "Turn it off... and wait 'til the turning parts stop turning."
     
  10. d_limiter

    d_limiter United States Iron Registered Member

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    I am so sorry to hear about your injury and wish you the fastest, best recovery possible. As many have said, I appreciate you being brave enough to give us this warning! I will take this frank reminder about safety to heart.

    David
     
  11. davidpbest

    davidpbest Active Member Active Member

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    Well, I don't like to complain, but . . . LOL I came home from the hospital after the amputation with a nerve block that made the thumb, index and middle finger totally numb from the palm outward. About midnight, the nerve block started to wear off, and I was completely unprepared for what happened the next 10 hours. The exit interview comments at the hospital were "You will experience moderate discomfort as the nerve block wears off - that's a sign to take some of the pain meds." By 3AM I was in crippling pain throughout the hand, bad enough that all I could do was shake violently and grit my teeth. Living alone, I could not get water to my mouth because of the shaking, but did manage to choke down some pain meds dry. You know what it feels like to hit a finger hard with a dead blow hammer, right? OK, do that to all five fingers in quick succession and imagine it doesn't subside but just gets worse, and some is helping by pouring boiling water on your hand at the same time. That was pretty much it for 10 hours. Turns out, there was something in the nerve block agent that caused a bad reaction - like a toxin or something that lit up the nerves. Once the nerve block wore off completely, I was left with the kind of pain I expected from the amputation - easy to ignore with some pain meds. We're now on day four since the amputation and nominal pain (no complaints), and so far no ghosting of the missing digit. With some luck, I'll be back in the shop in a few days - and I'm ready because this is BORING. Thanks for the kind words and support.
     
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  12. bss1

    bss1 United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    David

    I'm so sorry to hear of your accident. Now I know why you have been so quiet. Thanks for posting this as a reminder for all of us to be more careful.

    Best wishes on a smooth and speedy recovery.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  13. markba633csi

    markba633csi United States Active Member Active Member

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    Glad you're thru the worst of it- get back to work soon man
    Mark S.
     
  14. Okapi

    Okapi Switzerland Iron Registered Member

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    I'm with all other voices about a rapid cure David, after some decades of work we become all less careful than we ask to our apprentices, I think it's a mondially silly thing for all handworkers, sit on a chair behind a screen, the risk of making such accident with your computer's keybord make less injuries…
    I'm a very requiring person about security with all others workers but last year I loss the end of my finger in the same way as you, using the old technique of a small paper sheet for detecting the contact between the mill and work, my glove and the upper part of my finger( as I have no sensations in the end of fingers I always use thin anti-cut:grin big: gloves) were cut by the two cuts aluminium mill without any sensation only because it was on the working speed in place of the slow speed, just something occurs when you make that since 30 years.:boxed in:

    We are all same made, when you have too much routine at workshop it's time to go slower in place of calling the 911 service.
     
  15. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Anti cut gloves are a really bad idea around our machines. They will drag you in. I will not allow anything beyond 5 mil nitrile gloves around a machine that is plugged in to power. No cloth rags around the machine, either. I only take easily torn gloves and paper towels to the machines. I would rather lose a blue glove or a paper towel than a hand.
     
  16. Wireaddict

    Wireaddict United States Active User Active Member

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    Like everyone else here, I'm so sorry to hear about your accident but glad you're on the mend, it could've been much worse. I nearly lost a big toe in a lawn mower accident nearly 25 years ago while mowing a ditch in the evening when the grass got damp, I pulled the mower up the side of the ditch & lost my footing. In a vain effort to keep my balance I pulled it up & over my foot & it got me but fortunately the blade was dull & the engine was only running at a fast idle. Still, my toe was nearly severed but the surgeon reattached it & I got to keep it thankfully. Never forget: it only takes an instant of inattention or carelessness to get injured.
     
  17. davidpbest

    davidpbest Active Member Active Member

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    Thanks for all the words of encouragement and support. I worked up the courage to examine the result and here it is - I'm feeling a bit like Frankenstein.

    IMG_6328.jpg

    Let this be encouragement to you all to slow down and be safe.
     
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  18. jpfabricator

    jpfabricator United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I'm sorry sorry for your accident. I too have done my stupidist stuff while tired. Heal fast and God bless.

    Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
     
  19. dieselshadow

    dieselshadow United States Do you smell something? H-M Supporter-Premium

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    That photo almost looks like it was Photoshopped. I know it isn't, but it just doesn't look right. They didn't do a bad job, nice and clean right at the joint. Looks like it will heal quickly that way. I'm sure it'll be sore for a while.

    David, my hat is off to you for sharing and encouraging others to learn from your mistake.

    I hope you are back in the shop soon.
     
  20. markba633csi

    markba633csi United States Active Member Active Member

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    Jerry Garcia had a missing fingertip on his picking (right) hand, next finger over I believe.
    Cheers Dave
    Mark S.
     
  21. Catcam

    Catcam Australia Steel Registered Member

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    Thank you for the reminder. really appreciated.
    I hope you mend well.
     
  22. Bellinghamster

    Bellinghamster United States Swarf Registered Member

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    So sorry to see that, but thansks for sharing and hoping it'll help others to be wary and careful. I had my foot go 'round between the chain and sprocket of a a conveyor belt at a rock quarry I worked at in highschool 30-ish years ago with similar results to my big toe (VERY fortunately that's all it got)... I've had the utmost respect for the "intake" side of rotating machinery ever since. The ER surgeon put the bits back together into a toe-ish shape and even stuck the nail bed back in for good measure saying it's unlikely it'd take hold. It did but doesn't grow quite right and I lose it about every other ski season. Toe hurts in cold weather, especially so if I stub it, but as someone else said above it was a good decision to try to save it. I still think often about how much worse it could have been.
     
  23. markba633csi

    markba633csi United States Active Member Active Member

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    Hi Bellinghamster; good memories of Bellingham, used to spend summers with my much loved (now departed) Grammy there. Cornwall park, etc.
    Mark S.
     
  24. Harris Creek Central

    Harris Creek Central Canada Active User Active Member

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    I too have to be added to the "Dumb Boy's Club" I was milling a piece of Aluminum using my Drill Press. After getting the first piece finished I realized I was far to short for the project. Taking another piece of material double or more in length I thought, Now, if I could just take a couple cuts with my table saw, I would make it much easier for the make shift drill press milling idea. Well The first couple of cuts worked great, but the third not so good. The blade caught the metal and sent it flying, and in my impulse to catch or hold the material that was no longer there, my finger came down on the saw blade Harveys Finger 3.jpg

    This is the fingers at Emergency March 29, 2017.

    If you care to see progress as of today April 14th go to this link.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Kl2YLyKjkDff94wLySlq7IPnRZI9vR8IfQ/view?usp=sharing

    It is healing nicely. It will be a few weeks before I get back to having anything that looks like a normal finger.
     
  25. RJSakowski

    RJSakowski H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    As a teenager, forty-some stitches, thanks to table saw blade. Aside from one thumb being 1/8" shorter than the other, I survived intact. I also developed a healthy respect for a table saw.
     
  26. scwhite

    scwhite United States Active Member Active Member

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    Sorry to hear you might loose that finger .
    I almost lost a finger in the lathe .
    I had one of those long slender chips it was about 1/8 to 3/16 wide and five feet long . I did the same thing in a hurry and reached to move it off of the
    Carriage hand wheel with my left hand . So I could crank the carriage back with my right hand .
    That chip cought on the running chuck and in a split second it sucked 5 or 6 feet of 1/8 straight tool steel chip through my hand . Almost lost my index finger
     

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