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DHR - SAFETY ALERT MEMO 96-06

DATE: May 1, 1996

INCIDENT TYPE: Personal Injury

LOCATION: District 5

TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY: Surveying

THE ACCIDENT: On April 11, 1996, a survey crew was working in the Hatton Canyon area near Carmel. A member of the crew was cutting brush with a machete on a steep slope. The employee lost his footing, dropped the machete and put out his right hand to break his fall. His hand contacted the machete, causing a cut that required three hours of surgery to repair two severed tendons and an artery. The employee is recovering and has returned to work.

CONCLUSIONS: Always make sure that you have stable, secure footing before using a machete or any other hand tool. Maintain your footing while using the tool. Place machetes in a sheath before changing locations.

RECOMMENDATIONS: The employee was not wearing leather gloves when this accident occurred. The use of gloves may have reduced the severity of the injury in this case.

HEADQUARTES OFFICE OF SAFETY AND HEALTH (916) 227-2640

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