A brushcutter severs his hand

A mother victim of a brushcutter accident which seriously lacerated her hand warns of the dangers of such tools if a safety perimeter is not respected.

“Never again, never, never will I let my spouse pass the tractor or the whip with a close person or child, now it’s really caution,” says Mirabelloise Mélissa Éthier.

On June 9, her husband Alex Boily was finishing the grass cutting with a blade brushcutter when the mother of four children approached to tell her not to cut certain flowers.

As a precaution, she asked him to wait a moment to step back. But, with the loud noise of the machine, her spouse did not hear her.

He turned around and the brushcutter accidentally hit the fence. The man lost control of the grass trimmer which then injured his spouse.

“It picked up my hand, says Mélissa Éthier, it cut my palm from the little finger to the thumb”.

She recognizes today that it was very unwise to approach “two or three feet” from a machine like this.

“The main cause of accidents with a brushcutter is precisely the safety perimeter which is not respected”, explains the brushcutting trainer, Martial Grenon.

A safety radius of 15 meters must be maintained at all times when a brushcutter – whether blade or corded – is in operation, underlines the expert.

Daily upset

Following the accident, nearly 11 hours were needed to carry out the restructuring operation on Mélissa Éthier’s hand.

“I’m only able to move my fingers one millimeter. It will take me a year of rehabilitation minimum and I will never regain my mobility to 100%,” she says.

Resilient, the 41-year-old woman is aware that the coming months will be full of challenges.

“In my daily life, this accident meant that I could no longer work for a year. Unfortunately, I am only entitled to 15 weeks of unemployment,” she laments.

Mélissa Éthier, who worked in catering, had also not managed to take out disability insurance in recent years since she was on forced labor leave due to the pandemic.

“With the cost of living and gas rising, it’s going to be difficult,” she says. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to allow the family to breathe a little.

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