Man lost a finger yesterday
We had a plumbing contractor on-site yesterday operating a high pressure drain cleaning machine. He somehow got his hand in the way of something and cut off half of his 3rd finger on his right hand. I work in a hospital. They took him to our ER and reattached it right then and there. It was a clean cut. He was very fortunate but I'm sure he'll lose some movement and have other complications.
You can never be too careful out there guys. Work safe.
The picture in my avatar is of the Houston Ship Channel and was taken from my backyard. I like to sit outside and slap mosquitos while watching countless supertankers, barges and cargo ships of every shape and size carry all sorts of deadly toxins to and fro. It's really beautiful at times.....just don't eat the three eyed fish....
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Amen. I stress safety for our guys. Take your time, think about what you are doing and what potential there is for things to go wrong.
When I'm working, I am usually playing out lots of different scenarios in my mind and trying to imagine where my body parts would go if the ladder slipped, or the wrench broke, or I was startled and jumped up suddenly. Having this hyper-awareness of my surroundings has enabled me to have a pretty good safety record in my years, save for once when I was an apprentice and tried to catch a falling piece of sheet metal. D'OH!
Sorry to hear about your colleague's injury. I hope he gets back to 100% soon and can continue to provide for himself and his family. Those of us who make our living by prostituting ourselves fixing stuff understand the importance of being in good physical shape because we have little else to offer. I don't pretend that anyone pays me for my smarts...
The key to happiness is lower expectations.
I worked on a a/c overhead install a year ago and the neighbor came over with a large bandage on his hand. He had been using a drain clearing machine also, wearing gloves and it must have grabbed hold of his hand and ripped his finger off..........forget which one, but unable to reattach. I have never used one of those machines, but they must be pretty dangerous??!?
KX500......the original big green meanie
Those sewer machines come in two basic favors: augers and jetters.
The auger is the long, spinning spring with a bit at the end. It can be a spring looking hook auger (good for rags or hair) or a various sizes of sphere shaped or spade shaped blades that are good for roots. The re are also chain attachments that clear stuck on scum from the walls of the pipe. An experienced plumber always wears heavy leather gloves, and the coiled, spinning snake cable outside the pipe is more dangerous than the part inside it. I've seen an auger catch a big root, bind the and throw the operator and machine or the free end of the cable get caught on the operators clothing and body slam him.
The jetter is nothing more than a pressure washer on steroids. Send it down the pipe and it blasts the obstruction with a concentrated stream of water. Get your hand in front of that thing and it will cut you.
I know this don't compare to any body parts loss, but I tell you what scares me more than most anything in this business, is those dang wasps nest inside the condensers, and also the big package units on the roofs, can run to far if your on a roof, less it's a big roof.
“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law
"Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown
Ridgid sells heavy leather gloves with metal staple like inserts to guide the spring-cable in. They're supposed to be safer for that apparently.
Originally Posted by Pete838
I have a friend that owns the local roto-rooter here, was using the harbinder (jetter?) to clean out the pipes and it came out of a broken section and right through the front lawn.
Fortunately his helper saw it and was able to shut it down befor it hit the car in the driveway.
Jad a friend(plumber) who will not wear gloves anymore cause he lost a finger when the auger snagged his glove.
Spinning things are very hazourdous in any situation, reminds me of the two times I cought my finger in a blower wheel or the time I got it caught in a belt- OUCH.
It's not if your doing it right it's whether your doing the right thing that is important.
Got my finger peeled aligning a belt on a 200HP blower. Spinning by hand, slowly, to check belt drift. Belt caught glove and drug it into pulley, 0 deflection , 800lb wheel won't stop on a dime so half way around, slowly, before we got it stopped. Partner shat himself then spun it back to free my finger. Complacency got me. Don't have to be moving fast to hurt you fast.
I worked with an old timer that got a finger cut off by a fan blade and opted not to have it reattached because he would get more money with out it. It's a funny story now, but true.
Finger got caught in a fan belt once , yanked my finger around the pulley and spit it back out. Scared the Hell out of me , but no damage.