I just got off the phone with my woodworking/windsurfing buddy. He
was being driven to the local hospital for emergency eye surgery
because he just put a nail into his cornea. I was amazed as to how
relaxed and calm he was as he was telling me how he did it (I guess
it's no use to sound excited at this point.) He told me he had driven
a brad through a piece of wood and decided to cut off the exposed end
with some diagonal cutters. As he snipped it the piece was propelled
right into his eye.
Shit, it takes less than a second to ruin your life. I am a steadfast
safety nut and this just reinforces my vigilance to always have the
correct sfety gear on for the job. I hope that by you reading this it
will also keep you from ending up in the ER or worse.
Marc (who is now bummed out because of his friend)
IIRC Swingman had a very similar incident happen to him however I think his
glasses saved the day.
Hope you friend does well. About 35 years ago a good friend of mine, we
were both 20, was polishing his car with an electric polisher. He laid the
screwdriver he used to open the can of polish near the polisher and as you
may have guessed the screwdriver was caught and thrown in to his eye. He
can see light and dark but nothing else out of that eye.
Years ago (before I got lazik surgery) I used to wear hard contact lenses (the
little ones, about 5/16" in diameter). One day I had something metal chucked
up in my vise (don't remember what it was) and was beating on it with a claw
hammer when I suddenly felt something hit me dead center in the right eye. The
only pain I felt was that of a damaged contact lens, and when I removed it
there was perfect little hole knocked right out of the center of the lens!
Luckily, my eye was fine but I can't imagine what the result would have been if
I hadn't been wearing that little piece of "eye protection"...
See Nad. See Nad go. Go Nad!
To reply, eat the taco.
I suffered a "massive corneal abrasion" once (not from woodwork). It
hurt like hell for days. Then it got worse:
At night while I slept, the scar tissue growing on the cornea would
literally grow into the back side of my eyelid, so that when I woke
up and opened my eye, it would tear off again. And it hurt like hell
again. It went on for weeks, with diminishing effects. I learned to
wake up without opening my eyes, and rub the wound gently before
opening my eyet. That and petroleum jelly salve a few times a day.
The opthamologist said it happens in about 5% of corneal injuries.
The GOOD NEWS: My cornea healed perfectly. That's usually the case
And, after taking numerous loss and injury prevention classes and
training sessions at work, I wear safety glasses ALL the time in the
shop. I'm clumsy by nature.
I wear glasses anyway, and the lenses are small, but of a fairly tough
polycarbonate. In the workshop (mostly to be honest, to protect my
glasses!) I switch to a pair of big ugly aviator frames with side
shields. For risky stuff I wear a faceshield too (I never wear
The amount of crap I've found embedded in the lenses of my glasses
over the years! Weld spatter, angle grinder spatter... If it wasn't
for my glasses, I just know I'd have damaged my eyes by now. I wear my
glasses because otherwise I'd never find the door, but if you don't,
put your safeties on whenever you're near the stuff, not just when
you're planning something perilous.
My Dad had a haulage business, which for many years meant scrap metal,
particularly metal swarf from a local factory. He was a regular down
at the local eye hospital to get things cleaned out (often the huge
electromagnet, which as a kid I thought was pretty cool). That was
just from shovelling the stuff around, not firing it with any speed.
It's not the one you're expecting that gets you, it's the trivial
little thing that's too minor to worry about.
Good luck to your mate and his cornea.
If after he gets back and starts to see a lot of floaters in his eye,
please have him get to the doctor immediately as that is a sign of a
A year ago my wife went though that and had to go to the hospital where
the reattached the cornea. She later had to have a cataract fixed in
the same eye. It was a long year. Today she see just fine. (She paints
in acrylics and displays her painting in regional shows.)
However a friend of my brother had the same thing and put it off. Today
he has extremely limited vision in that eye.
On Sat, 09 Jan 2010 11:41:36 -0800, marc rosen wrote:
Safety goggles are of course the proper answer. But I've been known to
just lay a scrap or a ruler or even another pair of pliers/cutters over
the top to deflect the snipped part. Or, where possible, turn the piece
upside down so the ejecta hits the floor or the bench.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
On Sat, 9 Jan 2010 11:41:36 -0800 (PST), the infamous marc rosen
Damn, I always wear my glasses or goggles, but when I do things like
that, I put my fingertip over the end of the nail before snipping to
keep it from becoming a projectile.
Maybe your friend will THINK next time, even if he doesn't put on
That was truly a Darwin Moment.
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
and Possum(tm) Handy Pouches NOW AVAILABLE!
In 1950 I was building a cabin in the Colorado mountains. rode my motorcycle
to cabin (about 60 miles) to trim some pine tree branches with an hand axe.
One of the branches fliped back and hit dead center in one eye. Should have
had my goggles on. Cut the center of eye and was painful. Had trouble riding
home. It did heal but left a scar so center vision was blurry. This improved
in a couple years and full vision was restored. How ever to this day that
eye is set back a quarter inch into head compared to other eye. Lesson
I passed along your well wishes to my friend. He had eye surgery
Saturday night and was seen again by the surgeons on Sunday morning
and will go in again tomorrow morning as well. They were more
optimistic today than last night and are hopeful he will retain his
vision but they are certain he will need a corneal transplant. Only
time will tell. Anyway, thanks to the bunch of you for expressing
your concerns and suggestions.
Yep it sure does. My brother in law was pulling a nail out of a stud
during a basement framing project. The nail was overhead and he was
wearing prescription safety glasses with side shields. The nail
flipped off of the claw of his hammer and managed to get between his
eyebrow and the glasses. He too sustained cornea damage. He has
regained much of his sight in that eye but has to take eyedrops
constantly to prevent dryness. Still, lucky if you can call a freak
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