HELICOPTER

A Lifelight Maine helicopter lifts off from the parking lot of Lakes Region General Hospital on Thursday. Aboard was a woman who suffered a severe arm injury while working at Gilford manufacturer Howard Precision Inc. (Adam Drapcho/The Laconia Daily Sun)

GILFORD — An employee at a manufacturing plant had part of her arm amputated Thursday morning when it became caught in a piece of machinery.

Gilford Fire Rescue Lt. Rick Andrews said the accident occurred at Howard Precision Inc. at 359 Hounsell Ave., in the Lakes Business Park.

Howard Precision manufactures sterile fittings for tubing used in the making of pharmaceuticals and in food processing.

The victim, whose name Andrews would not disclose, had her left arm amputated at mid-forearm. She was rushed by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital. The severed part of her arm was wrapped in cool moist cloth and transported to the hospital as well, Andrews said.

After being evaluated at LRGH the woman was airlifted by helicopter ambulance to a medical center in Boston.

“Today, a member of the Howard Precision family suffered a tragic injury," said Howard Precision owner Joe Howard. "It is certainly the hardest day I’ve ever worked in my life. We have been in contact with the victim’s spouse and we’re told that they are stable. I would like to thank all our staff for stepping up to handle this situation when needed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the employee and their family.”

Andrews said employees at the plant immediately started giving first aid, which helped control bleeding. He said the woman was alert when rescue personnel arrived on the scene and her vital signs were satisfactory.

Last year Howard Precision was honored by the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration — OSHA — for its efforts to improve employee safety. The company was recognized for implementing a comprehensive accident prevention program after an employee grazed his thumb while using a bandsaw in 2015.

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