If this garage door accident seemed a fluke, a related incident involving teammate Armando Benitez demonstrates that it was not. In early May, the closer for the Mets got his hand caught in an apartment door, according to Jay Horwitz, vice president of Media Relations for the New York Mets. The accident left Benitez with a cut in front of the nail on his right hand and black and blue marks. It left the Mets pitching staff depleted temporarily due to two door accidents.
A simple door accident is one thing, but a garage door accident is another. Komiyama's injury cost the pitcher thousands of dollars. It could have easily cost him his finger and career. Others involved in similar garage door accidents have not been so fortunate.
There are thousands of emergency room visits a year dealing with garage door accidents---more than snow blower and lawn mower incidents combined, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. A recent estimate for the CPSC says there were 17,691 accidents related directly to garage door use in 2001 and another 2,730 accidents associated with the garage door opener in the same year. Some of the accidents result in finger amputations, fractures or avulsions.
The garage door is usually the largest moving object in a home. The technology utilized by many manufacturers is the same utilized before the advent of the garage door opener. There are a number of entrapment points, including gaps between section joints where a finger can easily be lacerated or severed when put in the opening. Homeowners use electronic devices to operate their garage door. When these devices fail, the homeowner must open and close their door manually. This is when many serious injuries may occur.
One local manufacturer insists that tighter industry standards are needed to protect the public. Martin Door Manufacturing® of Salt Lake City, Utah initiated new standards in the manufacture of its doors in 1996----resulting in new safeguards on both the front and the back of a garage door. Not a single injury has been reported involving the newly designed garage door since 1996, according to Dave Martin, chief executive officer for the manufacturer.
Martin takes the safety issue personally and has made the closest thing to a foolproof garage door there is in the industry.
Martin has eliminated most all entrapment points for a child, or adult's, hands including holes in the track, the area behind the track, roller shields and rolled track edges and more.
The former chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission cited Martin Door® for its safety innovations and asked that other manufacturers within the industry follow suit. Despite the prodding, no government mandates have yet been issued and thus the wide range of garage doors on the market---some with limited safety mechanisms and others with none.