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Defending the RIDGID name - HTH

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  • Defending the RIDGID name - HTH

    Jake - here is the text of my recent e-mail to a local TV channel reporting on some guy who severed his hand at the wrist and had it re-attached. Good news, but possibly bad from the RIDGID standpoint. If it is true, then you guys can suck up. If not, you can see them in court.

    Man who cut hand off - better call the lawyers

    I am writing in response to your current news story about the man in Allentown who cut his hand off - fully - at the wrist, with a power saw. First thing, were I you, I would call the lawyers. Second, I would try to set the story straight, as this is an example of either good or irresponsible journalism.

    On Monday night you reported that the hand was severed by use of a Circular Saw. This makes sense, as I and a whole slew of woodworkers (yes, your story has reached national attention through woodworking forums on the internet) consider the circular saw to be the most dangerous tool in the trade. However, on Tuesday night your reporter said the accident was due to a saw like THIS...then proceeded to show (what obviously was file footage) of a MITER SAW in operation, with the brand name RIDGID prominently displayed. Please note that RIDGID is the brand name of tools made by Emerson Electric Co., and sold exclusively through Home Depot, a fairly large commercial enterprise and probably a client either of NBC10 or NBC, or both.

    Was the saw in question actually a RIDGID miter saw? If so, then you may be free and clear of any responsibility, even though I and the myriad national woodworkers find it hard to believe that any idiot, even one hyped up on drugs or booze, could possibly saw through his entire arm with one. If not, then I submit that you were irresponsible for reporting - and visibly displaying - a specific commercial product that had nothing to do with the accident. In such a case, if I were Emerson Electric or Home Depot, I would sue your pants off for irresponsible journalism and damage beyond comprehension.

    If the situation is as I suspect, then I suggest you get the facts straight - never mind how important it may be to report "breaking news" or how easy it is to grab some "file footage."

    I have been dismayed for some time by the shallowness of your "Health Watch" and "Consumer Alert" segments (basically restricted to headlines only - no useful information provided), even though I like the relative professionalism of your weather section. Please do not make me a sceptic regarding your basic news reporting - set this story straight, especially any lessons learned regarding safety practices, specific problematic tools, or deficiencies thereof.

    Gary McKown
    West Chester, PA

  • #2
    EXCELLENT Gary! I'd like to see the responce you get to this
    Support Our Troops!


    • #3
      That's IF Gary gets a response.


      • #4
        Please drop me an email,


        • #5
          This is the text of the article from their website:

          Man Who Severed Hand Saved It In Freezer
          Hand Severed While Using Circular Saw

          POSTED: 8:44 a.m. EDT September 16, 2002

          ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Talk about being cool under pressure: Sean McHugh, of Allentown, still has two hands today -- thanks to himself and a dedicated surgeon.

          McHugh accidentally severed his right hand while using a circular saw. He grabbed the hand and put it in his freezer before driving himself to the hospital. Police were given a bag of ice and sent back to the man's home to collect the hand.

          Plastic surgeon Robert Murphy reattached the hand early Saturday in a procedure that took more than eight hours. He had to carefully reconnect wrist bones, arteries and veins, three major nerves and all the tendons.

          Murphy says the surgery was successful and the hand will heal, because McHugh stayed calm and did just the right thing.


          • #6
            Frankly, I doubt Gary will get an answer. I've found, when it comes to technical or scientific accuracy, the media really stinks (exception being technical or scientific publications). Right off the bat, they don't appear to know the difference between a circular saw and compound miter saw---let alone showing the wrong brand, if it was an error---how do you cut off a hand unless you not only defeat the guard and are wacked out on some "recreational substance."

            I used to work in an oil refinery and always watch, with interst, how the media reports accidents/fires there. They really don't know a darned thing---and they should.


            • #7
              In some contexts, any saw with a circular blade is called a circular saw. I doubt the reporter knows this, but nonetheless...

              I have read in another forum rumor that the saw actually was a radial arm saw. That seems like it would have the TV station really doing poorly...



              • #8
                No reply whatsoever from NBC10, except the autoreply saying "Thanks for your tip", and no follow-up report that I have seen. Don't know how long they keep them available, but you can see the whole report (including said Ridgid saw) by video feed from .


                • #9
                  Here's the direct link to the story.



                  • #10
                    The video I just watched from Josh's link must have been a follow up story. It showed a DeWalt circular saw stating the accidwnt occured with a circular saw like this.

                    hmmmmm.... message received??????
                    <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                    • #11
                      It has been a long time since my first aid training, but I thought if someone slit their wrists they usually passed out quickly from loss of blood, and most likely died fairly quickly. Not calmly drive themselves to the hospital.

                      Cutting your hand completely off is even more than "merely" slitting your wrist. And there are certainly a few broken bones (pain, shock). So the whole story is pretty hard to believe. Are you sure the dateline wasn't April 1st?


                      • #12
                        Charlie, there's a famous story of a young man who was working on his family's farm alone. A big (something) machine grabbed both his arms and amputated them by pulling. He managed to make it to the house, figured out how to open the door without hands, and dialed 911.

                        Never underestimate what a person can do in an emergency. People who deliberately cut their wrists and want to die, do.



                        • #13
                          While certainly way OT, arteries in the wrists, if cut cross-wise, tend to have a slow loss of blood, due to their size. As Dave A. said, there is also the human factor, which can usually defy what you would normally expect. Even though this guy had a short deck, when it came to safety, his long suit was obviously keeping his cool in emergencies. We should all be that good.