Greasing palms is not unknown in the maritime industry but greasing a little finger is somewhat rarer. Although this warning from Marine Safety Forum, MSF concerns a non-maritime incident there may still be the potential for it.
The operator was using a handheld grease gun to lubricate various grease points on earth-moving plant when he felt a sharp prick to his right little finger and on inspection noticed a small hole. On squeezing the finger about a teaspoon of grease was ejected.
He had not been wearing gloves.
Medical attention was sought resulting in a lengthy operation and removal of a vein in the forearm. This was replaced with an artificial vein.
MSF says: “At this time the operation appears successful however constant medical monitoring and surgery care is paramount to a successful rehabilitation.”
The safety alert warns:
Inspect equipment prior to use to ensure it is in sound working order with no cuts, damage.
Check and tighten all fittings.
Wear suitable protective gloves when using any equipment with stored energy potential.
Even relatively low pressure equipment has the potential to inflict hydraulic injection injury.
Grease gun hose was not a strengthened hydraulic pressure (woven/mesh) type but of rubberised compound only.
Download the safety alert here