SAFETY MOST IMPORTANT
With Thanks to Tim Keenan, and his friend the editor, Roger Walton the following has been reproduced from the newsletter of the Vintage Engine Restorers club of Auckland (VERA).
Tuesday 3rd March 2015
While driving his Hart-Parr, using the PTO to operate a reaper/binder while wearing bib type overalls, Terry Jenkins had the rotating PTO shaft catch his overall leg and wind him up into the shaft. Terry managed to put the PTO out of gear and shut down the Hart-Parr engine but suffered very serious injuries, which necessitated the amputation of his leg below the knee. While on the operating table Terry suffered a heart attack. At this moment Terry is now recovering in hospital.
Some years ago, the late Jim Davies, who lived on Auckland’s, north shore, an early collectors of stationary engines and a gifted engineer, while working on his 3HP Watts Bros. horizontal engine, had his dust coat caught by the end of the rotating sideshaft. Jim was at the control end of the engine when caught, and while he managed to shut the engine down, the mass of the rotating flywheels caused Jim to be dragged into the side of the engine. Jim would have been killed by being crushed by his dust jacket being wound up by the side shaft but for one extremely lucky break. On the Watts Bros. engine the sideshaft is held at the crankshaft end by one stud and nut of 5/8 inch (16mm) diameter. This stud had crystallised and cracked over the years and now with the extra force on the sideshaft winding up Jim’s dust coat crushing his stomach and chest, this stud snapped allowing the sideshaft gear to ride out of mesh of the crankshaft gear which in turn meant the dust coat was no longer being wound up although the flywheels were still rotating as the engine slowly stopped. Jim was able to rotate the flywheels backwards after they had stopped to unwind his dust coat from the sideshaft and release himself.
Jim said afterwards that it was his new dust coat and there was absolutely no way he could get it to rip. Jim’s bruising was evident for weeks after this incident. And he admitted that he was very lucky to still be alive after this.
Terry was working with other club members at the time so help was immediately at hand. Jim was alone in his shed when his event happened. Jim always wore a dust coat while working / playing with his engines. Terry usually just wears shorts and I cannot help thinking that if he had been in shorts this terrible accident would not have happened.
BE VERY AWARE OF ROTATING SHAFTS. THE SMALLER THE DIAMETER THE GREATER THE RISK. THE ROUGHER THE SURFACE THE GRATER THE RISK. PROTRUSIONS LIKE KEYS OR PINCH BOLTS ARE THE GREATEST DANGER!!!!!