News Local

Worker on the mend after industrial accident

Lance Holdforth - Special to the Examiner

ESSA TWP. - An Essa Township employee is recovering at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto after his arm was caught in the auger of a salt hopper, Wednesday morning.

The 24-year-old man was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries which required surgery on his arm.

"Our firefighters were there and they took him out and now he's down at Sunnybrook," Essa Township Mayor Terry Dowdall said. "So far, from what I've heard, it (the man's condition) has been pretty positive, but from what I gather, they were lucky."

Around 8:15 a.m., the man was working at the Essa public works building on County Road 10, behind the Angus Recreation Centre, where he was attempting to dislodge a sidewalk sander's auger when his clothing got tangled.

"He was working on a sidewalk plow and he was working on clearing it, but unfortunately it was operating at the time," Nottawasaga OPP Const. Kelly Daniels-Griffis said. "His clothing got caught and yanked him inside."

A fellow worker saw the man's arm enter the blades of the auger and was quick to respond, Daniel-Griffis added.

"A co-worker saw him going into the machine and it was him that shut down the machine down and called 911." she said. "The co-worker that came to his assistance was really well done."

Emergency crews arrived, but the spiral construction of the blades required crews to be extremely careful, Daniels-Griffis said.

"He was stuck in the situation for two hours. They basically started to take apart the machine to get him out," she said. "He was airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital with very serious injuries to his arm, but he was conscious and talking when he was loaded onto the ambulance."

The Ministry of Labour and township officials are investigating what Dowdall called an "isolated" incident.

"We do our health and safety on a regular basis. It was an unfortunate and sad accident," he said. "It's one of those things you don't want to happen again."

The ministry will compile a full report following the investigation, but Dowdall said his main concern is for the injured man's well-being.

"We have to hear from the man himself and really we're more concerned with getting things done and saving his arm," he said.

Dowdall said mixed reports of what happened have been brought to investigator's attention, and the only man who can clarify exactly what happened remains in the hospital.

"There's been different angles as to what happened," he said. "We have to get a full report of what transpired."

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