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N.W.T. compensation board issues hazard alert for traumatic amputation of digits


The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) has released a hazard alert advising northerners to exercise caution and use safe work practices to prevent amputation of digits in doorways.

A worker in the Northwest Territories suffered traumatic amputation of the tips of the fourth and fifth digits of the right hand while operating an electrically-driven garage door. The open button was pressed with the left hand, and the worker failed to remove the right hand out of the way of the track and rollers.

The board is recommending all employees are instructed in the use of automated garage door use and all controls have a fail-safe mechanism (such as a dead man’s switch).

Operational controls should be at a position where the operator cannot come into contact with moving parts and audible/visible alarms should be installed to alert workers when the garage door is opening and closing. In addition, the safety devices installed on the garage door should be functioning and operational.

The WSCC cautions northerners to always pay attention to their surroundings, conduct hazard assessments to ensure their work spaces are free of hazards, and implement controls to prevent incidents.

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