Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
jewelry and skydiving

 

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amy  (D License)

Jan 23, 2003, 11:09 PM
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jewelry and skydiving Can't Post

As an orthopedic surgery resident, one of the patients that I got to know best was a 50 year-old guy named Ron. I met him in the hand surgery clinic, and I got to know him so well because of his repeated surgical procedures and clinic visits for wrist arthritis after an industrial accident.

Ron's injury wasn't what you'd expect from the term "industrial accident". He was a maintenance man in a business park, and almost ten years before I met him, he was standing on a 12-inch stepstool to change a fluorescent light bulb when he slipped. His wedding ring caught on the light fixture and pulled his finger off.

When someone loses a finger in an accident with a ring, reattaching it isn't an option, because the nerves and blood vessels are damaged by the pull of the ring. If the finger's taken off at the first knuckle, you have to remove some of the bones that make up the palm of the hand, or leave them with an unnatural and not very functional grip (imagine trying to hold a handful of change with one finger completely missing). That messes up wrist mechanics, and can lead to degenerative disease in the wrist. Ron had chronic pain in his left wrist, and advanced arthritis before he was 50.

I think of Ron every time I see skydivers wearing rings. If Ron's fall from a 12-inch stool took off his finger, there's no doubt that the same thing would happen if your ring got caught on the floater bar launching 8-way chunk. Or a 4-way, or even a solo. Worse is when I think about AFF jumpmasters, who have to hang on to their students' harnesses through deployment. A lot of people think that gloves will protect them, when in fact they'll just make the finger easier to find when you land.

Although I've never taken care of any skydivers who lost fingers that way, I did know one who was missing his left ring finger from skydiving with a wedding ring. It does happen.

I'll never tell anyone not to wear jewelry when they skydive, because I really believe that it's a choice people are free to make. Just realize the risk you're taking, and think about leaving that ring at home, or putting it on a chain around your neck.

Amy


blewaway5  (A 38803)

Jan 23, 2003, 11:48 PM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

OUCH!!


debonair  (D 11192)

Jan 23, 2003, 11:54 PM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just realize the risk you're taking, and think about leaving that ring at home, or putting it on a chain around your neck. Amy

Is a chain around your neck any less likely to get caught on something and cause an injury? I wouldn't think so.

...deb


skymedic  (C 33561)

Jan 24, 2003, 1:54 AM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the same thing everytime I see a firefighter wearing his wedding band to work....I have taken two of my co workers in from this same thing...and this happened to them when the fell off a ladder with gloves ON....


JohanW  (D 86318)

Jan 24, 2003, 2:02 AM
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Re: [skymedic] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Men don't wear wedding rings?

Why isn't this thread in Safety?


Pammi

Jan 24, 2003, 5:32 AM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Good thoughts. I normally wear gloves or don't wear my ring. I wonder if it's still possible (probable) that you'd catch the ring even with gloves on?

Perhaps she's just more comfortable speaking in this thread Johan. I'm sure the guys would appreciate if you wanted to bring the info up in the safety forum as well...Smile

Pammi


(This post was edited by Pammi on Jan 24, 2003, 5:38 AM)


wmw999  (D 6296)

Jan 24, 2003, 5:56 AM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

My friend Linda lost her ring finger above the middle knuckle in the 1970's on the door of a twin Beech. She was lucky in not having the ongoing problems Ron did, but it was nevertheless gone.

She said she knew what happened almost immediately afterwards, but no one else knew. She stayed close and above level as long as she could, and pulled only a little high.

The thing about a chain is that if it breaks, you lose your jewelry, not your head (unless it's really thick).

Wendy W.


SteveM  (C 34310)

Jan 24, 2003, 6:00 AM
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Re: [Pammi] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Well I'm single now daysFrown so I don't have to worry about a wedding ring, and I hate to say this Pammi, but I think I'm going to slip off my closing pin necklace during the day while I jump. Also, I don't really care where this was posted because I try to read all the forums anyway, but I never thought about something like this before. Good post Amy..................... SteveM


ladyskydiver

Jan 24, 2003, 6:15 AM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Ugh! This just made me rethink wearing jewelry when diving. I'm definitely going to start taking off my jewerly on a dive from now on.

Thanks for the post Amy!


Vallerina  (C License)

Jan 24, 2003, 6:26 AM
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Re: [debonair] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Is a chain around your neck any less likely to get caught on something and cause an injury? I wouldn't think so.
It depends on the necklace. I checked to make sure the hemp I was using to make my necklace would break after not much force was applied (it was like 20 lbs or so.) It would hurt if it broke, but it wouldn't strangle me. I know people often use that black cord to make closing pin necklaces, but I have no idea how much force it takes to break one.

Great thread, Amy. I don't really wear jewelry, but it's good to keep in mind what can snag, etc.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jan 24, 2003, 6:42 AM
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Re: [skymedic] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't generally take my Aggie ring off, so I wear gloves while jumping, still a bad idea then? Gonna be rough having to take my Aggie ring off, though...Crazy


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 24, 2003, 6:52 AM
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Re: [debonair] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Is a chain around your neck any less likely to get caught on something and cause an injury? I wouldn't think so.

It's important that anything you put around your neck be able to break relatively easily. Necklaces can come out from underneath shirts in freefall, and could conceivably get hooked up with a riser on deployment. It wouldn't be that inconceivable, I've gotten hit in the nose with a riser, risers DO get into weird places.

People who wear packing tools around their necks, are asking for trouble, I think.

_Am


Dumpster  (D 27314)

Jan 24, 2003, 7:18 AM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Very good safety topic!

Being a maintenance supervisor myself, and a member of our companies' safety committee, I encourage workers to remove jewelery for the same reasons. My wedding band comes off in the morning, and I keep it on my keychain. One of the many hats I wear is that of "electrician", and I often play with live, 480-volt, three-phase stuff. I'm just as afraid of the shock hazard, should the ring get snagged on a live conductor, I could be major trouble.

I've seen the safety films of fingers lost or injured due to rings getting snagged. Ugly. Very ugly.

Unfortunately, our company doesn't have an official "No Jewelery" policy, so I can't insist on it.

I ususally wear gloves while jumping, but often still take the ring off, just because it makes it easier to get my gloves on and off.
I am guilty of wearing my closing pin, though, but I try to tuck it inside my jumpsuit. I am re-thinking that strategy now.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 24, 2003, 7:37 AM
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Re: [Dumpster] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I am guilty of wearing my closing pin, though, but I try to tuck it inside my jumpsuit. I am re-thinking that strategy now.

A lot of the closing pin necklaces, like the ones Pammi makes, are really quite weak around the clasp, and would easily break if they got snagged.

_Am


Dumpster  (D 27314)

Jan 24, 2003, 7:52 AM
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Re: [AndyMan] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah come to think of it, they aren't made of aircraft-quality hardware.


bbarnhouse  (D License)
Pixie
Jan 24, 2003, 8:51 AM
Post #16 of 34 (3963 views)
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Amy~
Thanks so much for your post! Often times I see folks jumping with jewelry and it is scary!
I have seen fingers cut from rings, and worse from closing pin necklaces (riser stikes and hitting the ground).
I ask those that I am coaching to remove any jewelry they may have. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Cheers!
BB


lizzieb  (D 27386)

Jan 24, 2003, 8:57 AM
Post #17 of 34 (3958 views)
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

ouch Shocked

i'm never skydiving with rings again!!!


amy  (D License)

Jan 24, 2003, 9:50 AM
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Re: [debonair] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Based on the number of patients I've seen who were wearing gloves, they don't do much to protect you. They will, however, make it less likely you'll lose the ring in the accident - it might still be the in your glove when you land. Of course you'll have to find another finger to wear it on.

Most jewelry-quality chains will break if they get caught on something. You may lose the jewelry, but it's not all that likely to cause a malfunction or hurt you too much.

As Val said, if you have a necklace made out of anything but gold or silver, make sure it'll break before you do. Better to lose the jewelry than get hurt by it.

But be careful with anything that's thin enough to cut you, or will cause burns. There are stories of microline burns that cut through jumpsuits and flesh after relatively minor canopy collisions and wraps. It sucks when that happens on your leg, but it really sucks if that happens on your neck (I have no idea if a hemp or leather necklace could do that, but I'm not taking that chance).

I'd rather leave the jewelry at home, or put it on at the end of the day.

Amy


Pammi

Jan 24, 2003, 9:56 AM
Post #19 of 34 (3941 views)
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Re: [Dumpster] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually put on my site that I'd prefer no one jump with my necklaces, but I have. I'm not sure how they would hold up if pulled on very hard. The clasp has just one piece of hemp through it, as that's all that will fit through the hole, so regardless of how many threads were used to make it, it only has the one holding it on. It does have a crimp and glue as well, but that's just to make sure it doesn't come off, it's still just one thread that would have to break. But I don't honestly know how much pressure would be required for that to happen. Hemp is pretty durable stuff!

I worry more about the pin poking someone in the neck if they landed just right (or wrong), that sort of thing. I think it's prob'ly just best it not be worn.

The new rubber ones are pretty damn durable though. But I think it would probably come out of the metal spring clasp given enough pressure. Again, though, I'm really not sure.

Better to be safe then sorry and just keep all jewelry off while jumping in my opinion. I prob'ly won't even wear my ring, and nag Merrick until he doesn't either, even with gloves on. It's not like we're not married with them off or something Wink

Pammi


DivaSkyChick  (A 37273)

Jan 24, 2003, 10:03 AM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow. Ew. You convinced me.

Thanks.


amy  (D License)

Jan 24, 2003, 10:07 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I don't generally take my Aggie ring off, so I wear gloves while jumping, still a bad idea then? Gonna be rough having to take my Aggie ring off, though...

I don't think that gloves protect you, Dave. As for taking it off, I think it beats the hell out of finding another finger to put it on, or losing the ring _and_ the finger all in one go.

But that's just me. Smile

Amy


flyangel2

Jan 24, 2003, 11:35 AM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

I never wear any jewelry when skydiving or any sport. If I'm in the plane and I discover I forgot to take something off, I put it in my jumpsuit pocket. At the end of the day it's right wear I left it.

Why take the chance and wear the jewelry, after all, it's not a fashion show were attending.


Zenister  (A 42)

Jan 24, 2003, 12:10 PM
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Re: [amy] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

OUCH.. my father actually had a parachute related accident as a load master at Bragg...a staticline jumper got hung on the side of the C130 and my father climbed out on the rollers to cut him free..as he did they hit a burble and he nearly went out..caught the edge of the door with his hands and was literally hanging by his wedding ring..didnt take his finger off, but they had to cut it to get it off..he didnt wear it for almost 15 years, even after he stopped flying..but the scar there always reminded him it helped save his life....


i wear my closing pin necklace when jumping but it breaks rather easily if pulled..ive seen people with leather thongs or parachute cords for the necklace and that is a bit frightening..


skygirlpc  (C 35108)

Jan 24, 2003, 1:19 PM
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Re: [Zenister] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't wear much jewelry anyway, but I always take my closing pin neckalace off before jumping! After reading this I would not jump with any rings on!

I do wear my earings though when I jump (normaly just small studs, sometimes very small hoops). Does anyone know of any injuries from wearing earings?

Danielle


bbarnhouse  (D License)
Pixie
Jan 24, 2003, 1:21 PM
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Re: [skygirlpc] jewelry and skydiving [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
anyone know of any injuries from wearing earings?

Yes ear-lobes torn from hoops.
Also those with pierced nips should consider wearing a covering while jumping. I have seen the rings torn out here as well.
Ouch!Crazy


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