Author Topic: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.  (Read 11635 times)

rcavictim

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Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« on: March 23, 2008, 05:59:33 AM »
I haven't had my new Changfa 1115 engine long enough to know it well.  When you are standing on the side of the engine opposite the flywheel where the controls all are you cannot see the flywheel.  See the flywheel side shown here and how those ring gear teeth are so close to the top of the fuel tank on the blind side!




So two nights ago I was running the engine and did a fuel top-up while the engine was running from the safe control side.  No problem.  Got the fuel cap back on and decided to grab a paper towel and wipe off the fuel that had spilled on the tank and wipe some of the water stains that had accumulated on the hopper at the same time.  As my hand followed the contour of the tank surface wiping the spilled fuel I decided to wipe over the far side of the tank.  Whoops.  Before I knew it I felt my fingers being mauled by the flywheel teeth.  There was just enough space between the flywheel and the tank so my fingers fit without contact with the wheel up to about my knuckles, then whammo.  I really believe that the lack of a guard here from the factory is a hugely dangerous oversight.  I lost skin and some flesh.  Lots of blood at the time as I apparently cut into a blood vessel on the middle finger.  Luckily no bone, joint or nerve damage and I will have full use of my precious right hand in a couple of weeks after scar tissue seals the holes.  Lucky, could have been a lot worse!

I went to the doctor today about 40 hours after the event to get a tetanus booster shot and some protection against blood poisoning in the way of a prescription for antibiotics.  My whole right hand has swollen up on top from the fingers back causing me some concern.  Who knows what pathogens might be on that freshly imported machine part from another country.  ???

At the time of the accident I washed the wounds in cold water (workshop has a bathroom and running water) and scraped paint from the flywheel off the remaining skin, then applied my trade mark paper towel and electrical tape bandages and went back to work.  Last night, 24 hours after the accident I removed the bandages to look at my damage.  When I saw this I took the picture, then decided to go to see the doc.  If you are morbidly curious click here.

www.area31.org/photos/INJURY.JPG

The moral of this story is LEARN FROM MY PAIN.  If you have one of these engines, fashion a guard around that large saw blade.  It is an easy, serious accident waiting to happen.

PS, go back and look at the arrow showing rotation on that flywheel.  If I had been using a cloth rag instead of a paper towel, my fingers may have been rpped off or my hand pulled into that starter.  I don't even want to think of what could happen.  Make a guard!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2008, 06:10:50 AM by rcavictim »
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oliver90owner

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008, 08:19:42 AM »
rcavictim,

The real moral of the story is to follow the instructions.  I am sure they will say, in some form or another, to stop the engine while refuelling.  That is, if there are any insructions!

Ok, it is a diesel and less likely to catch on fire, but any mishap when filling fuel can be dangerous.  Obviously dropping the filler cap and trying to catch it before it is devoured by that ring-gear could be serious personally or from the sparks/shrapnell generated as the cap is fragmented and the fuel tank holed.  Am I correct in assuming there is no safety chain or wire on that filler cap?  If there is I am surprised!

Personally, I think anyone marketing a dangerous and unguarded piece of machinery like that is waiting for litigation papers to drop through their postbox unless warnings are posted at all danger points.

That would not be allowed in the UK, I am sure.  Yes, the old iron might come 'as it was', but new items without a safety guard would be illegal.  Unless the item was purchased as a replacement part which would be guarded or inaccessible when installed.

Anyhow , glad to see you still have all your fingers reasonably intact.

I haven't had my new Changfa 1115 engine long enough to know it well.
I am sure you noted that jagged piece of rotating kit.  You just ignored it or thought you would be OK and never get caught.

Remember an accident is not just an 'unplanned event'.  'Unavoidable' should be in there somewhere.

Most of us run our stationary engines with bare flywheels.  We should not approach them any closer than the general public is allowed at rallies? (2 metres)......  There is a limit, I daresay, and the insurance companies take this into account when they supply cover for us....so we must at least have a good record overall, for safety.

Regards, RAB

captfred

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2008, 09:34:35 AM »
Thanks for the heads up, we all need a reminder once in a while - preferably  one that doesn't involve amputation.

Gotta get on that flywheel guard.  Fred

mobile_bob

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008, 02:02:09 PM »
having been cut like that on every finger at least once or twice, i feel your pain, but
that is the nature of this game, sometimes you lose some hide

anytime you are working around or about a rotating piece of machinery, you are at risk of injury
and even with guards in place one can still find ways to damage himself if you don't keep focused.

on the upside,, you will heal just fine
and if you don't like the scar,, if it is too thick and sticks up

there is always dermabrasion

done with a die grinder and a scotchbrite rotary pad under running water at the sink, (air powered die grinder of course)

i have one index finger that i reshaped quite nicely with one about 20 years ago after a misshap that would make your injury
look like a mosquito bite. ( a cut that was to the bone from the first knuckle to the nail about a quarter wide, leaving the
strip of flesh under the hood of the vehicle) i did as you did and taped it up, actually taped it to pull it together
and splinted it,,, hurt like hell and took a long time to heal , leaving a very proud and ugly scar that stood up about an eigth
inch,,, a very ugly scar indeed.
looks good after the dermabrasion, nice and smooth and contured to match the rest of my finger :)

if you like after it heals, maybe i can get some of the fella's to hold you down, and i will rescupt it for you?
the call me the michaelangelo of the die grinder
i have had several doctors comment on the process and the results, while they don't approve of my methods
they were however amazed at the results.

one thing for certain, you will have a much greater respect for that mighty changa and its meat grinder starter ring gear :)

here's to a fast recovery

all the best buddy

bob g
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Stan

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2008, 02:43:31 PM »
Yup, been there, done that, many times.  My favourite saying is "Pain in nature's way of telling me to be carefull"
Stan

Bluecometk

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2008, 03:06:36 PM »
 rcavictim, THANK YOU FOR THE HEADS UP! It took a lot of courage to talk about your accident. What is good is that you have a plan to not have it happen again. Hope your convalescence is short. Enough said.


Thanks again.
                
                 Bluuecometk.



Bluecometk

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dpollo

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2008, 03:28:15 PM »
Please accept my best wishes for a fast recovery.  dp

Eco Diesel

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2008, 06:51:37 PM »
Very sorry to hear about your injury. I agree that guards should be built and installed on all these stationary engines with flywheels even prior to starting for the first time. You don't need to be able to bend sheet metal or fancy equipment to build them. I used 4" x 3/16" flat iron for the fenders on my 6hp roid demonstrator. To build some like I have you need to  cut lenghs that shape the belts path allowing for an inch or more distance away. Once you have the outer shape of the fender figured out then you can use 3/4" x 3/4" angle iron or 1" x 1" angle iron to weld along both under sides of the fender. Cut angles at the ends of the angle iron where they weet and grind an angle so as to be able to weld the intersecting angles later. Drill 3/8" holes through one side of the angle iron so you can place weld to fasten to the flat iron. Once both sides of the fender are reinforced with the angle iron you will have the ability to cut some metal screen to fit the shape of the fender and then tack weld it into place. It took me about 8 hrs to build the guards on my demonstrator. I still have to build a fan shroud to protect from the fan. I am puting my website here not for any other purpose than to see how I made my guards. Please look at them in the pictures section www.ecodieselcanada.com  They are quite easy to build and you will feel so much safer just walking around your engine. If you want close ups I am willing to send anyone pictures if you email me at ecodiesel@xplornet.com  lets all be safe out there.

Troy 

sid

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2008, 09:09:06 PM »
I am glad it was not anymore serious// that was bad enough/// I still wake up in the middle of night in a cold sweat at some of the close calls that I have had/  I once fed an oil pump can in a gear of hit and miss when the spout got too close/it ate the can so quick I was luck to turn it loose/ I have droped wrenches in running engines . I  got a pry bar caught in a tank engine when the dumb ass driver tried to start the engine with me in it/// safety is one thing that we must all be aware of.. if you get around a group of old farmers and engine collector the thing that they have in common is damaged hands and fingers and hard of hearing////I travel a lot and the last thing you want to be is sick or hurt away from home// I usuall find out the location of the hospital. fire station ( for EMS) and clinic when I check in a motel//I usually  carry a good first aid kit with the miracle for cuts// cyanoacrylate// better know as super glue//that and a bottle of amoxicillin/for pain relief I always carry a bottle of 80 proof something// used inside and out/ does double duty////sid
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Doug

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2008, 09:18:25 PM »
Rob:

I'm so glad your story ends without any serious loss.

Nothing bothers me more than hearing about injuries.

Screw the engine and everything else, I'm just glad your going to be OK.

Doug
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BACKROAD

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2008, 11:37:01 PM »
You don't suppose there's a reason they paint the ChangFa's RED do you?  They are a dangerous piece of rotating mass and thank you very much for the WARNING.....

Being in the mining industry, we are given also kinds of things to make us think about safety.  Sometimes it's very hard to apply these things to the stuff I do at home.  Term like "consequence thinking" and "the next 15 seconds" are all too often not brought home with us.  It's like last week when I was fiddling with one of my running gas generators.  I was reaching for the throttle linkage under the gas tank and found the muffler instead.  Ya know, it's amazing how many things we do with our index finger.  It's also very hard to type on the computer with no hands or fingers. 


Glad you're okeydokey.....

Dennis in Bagdad................................AZ :P

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M61hops

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2008, 11:51:02 PM »
Thanks for the reminder and I'm glad it wasn't more serious!  This just goes to show how easy it is for simple little things to lead to tragedy!  I've done things like this a few times myself and every once in a while I stop and think how lucky I am that I still have all my fingers and both eyes!  Heal fast!                                       Leland
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rmchambers

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2008, 02:54:06 AM »
That's going to throb for a while but keep it well clean and let the air to it from time to time and it ought to heal up pretty well.

A trip to the doctors for some antibiotics might not be a bad thing, if you get some gunk in there (microbes not paint) it could get nasty in a hurry.

Always better to learn from the mistakes of others, thanks for the sobering reminder.

Best wishes and hope you can use that finger for communicating again real soon!

RC

rcavictim

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2008, 01:30:22 PM »
Thank you all for your kind concerns, moral support and condolances.

I should point out in agreement with Mobile Bob that this sort of thing comes with the territory and I want it known clearly that I am still impressed with this engine and think it a good machine for the money.  In the final install it is likely that the original fuel tank and hopper will be removed in favor of a radiator thermosiphon cooling system and larger outboard fuel tank.  In this case the flywheel will be somewhat buried away from casual access to the user
-DIY 1.5L NA VW diesel genset - 9 kW 3-phase. Co-gen, dual  fuel
- 1966, Petter PJ-1, 5 kW air cooled diesel standby lighting plant
-DIY JD175A, minimum fuel research genset.
-Changfa 1115
-6 HP Launtop air cooled diesel
-Want Lister 6/1
-Large DIY VAWT nearing completion

mike90045

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Re: Look Ma...NO HANDS! An accident report and warning.
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2008, 07:34:43 PM »
How easy was it to take the photo left handed ?   Thanks for shareing, I'll pass this info around to others at lunch !