Terrible accident by tape measure

Images below contain graphic content of injury within the article

A local scaffolder from Hoo in Kent, has been signed off from work for the last six weeks, after he was left unable to move his fingers, due to an accident with a tape measure.

On Friday 29 January, Harry Sawyer, 20, was taken to the Memorial Hospital in Sittingbourne, after he injured his fingers at work. Mr Sawyer said the event was an accident where he pulled on a tape measure after it became jammed on a ladder. Although he was wearing gloves at the time, he suffered two cuts to the tendons in his left-hand ring and little finger.

The hospital told Mr Sawyer that even though his accident may seem quite shocking and unusual, they had actually already seen two other patients that week, who had been injured by tape measures. They said it was not “uncommon”.

According to the gov.uk website Great Britain is actually one of the safest places to work in the world, with mental health being the main factor for staff being off from work. According to the Health and Safety Executive in Great Britain 693,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries in their place of work and 1.6 million workers suffered from work-related ill-health.

Mr Sawyer said at the time he did not realise the extent of his injuries. “I knew I had cut my fingers, but it was only when I took off my glove that I could see the amount of blood and I realised it was more serious,” he said.

After being seen at the hospital in Sittingbourne, Mr Sawyer was referred to the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead the following day and spent over ten hours waiting to be seen. The hospital said they had to wait until the end of the day to perform the procedure as they needed two doctors to repair the tendons. Mr Sawyer was given a local anesthetic and described how he could see his hand whilst it was being operated on.

The scaffolder was signed off from his normal day job for three months but hopes to return for light duties before then.

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