Mower removes slip victim's toes

Damaged shoe with large gash in toe area

A gardener/handyman - Leonard - working on a sloping grassed area suffered the loss of two toes as a result of a simple slip. He also had to endure serious lacerations to his foot and surgeons needed to remove much of the affected area in order to be able to close his wounds. Hospitalisation and physiotherapy ensued to try to recover his mobility.

Using a rotary mower on sloping ground to cut an area of grass that had been allowed to become rather too long he slipped on the lush area of grass that he had just cut and his feet slid down the slope. His right foot went under the mower into the moving blades.

When interviewed Leonard said

Foot with injured toes

"This is the sort of job I have done many times before without having a problem, but looking back on it I suppose it was an accident waiting to happen. The grass, having been quite long, was lush and damp once cut. My shoes were smooth soled ones that I had been wearing whilst doing other odd jobs. I don't suppose they would give any sort of grip on damp grass. Thinking about it, even with better boots on, damp grass is bound to be slippery so it was probably not the best idea to be using a rigid bladed rotary mower when it was possible that I could slip down a slope towards it. When I did slip it all happened so quickly, there was absolutely no time to react. One moment I was standing up - the next instant my foot was in the blade. I think I probably stacked the odds against myself really - better footwear and a strimmer would have been safer choices. Obviously things are always clear in hindsight but I could have seen what was likely to happen, it would have been so little trouble to avoid the risk."

Leonard is now retired and has recovered sufficiently to be looking forward to once again being able to indulge his passion for golf.