A 69-year-old man is fighting for his life tonight after an accident on his farm in west Ottawa, on William Mooney Road in Carp. Ken Paul lost both his arms, after his clothing became entangled in a piece of equipment.  It is equipment that the dairy farmer has worked with dozens of times.  But clearly, something went tragically wrong this time, pulling first his clothing, then his arms into the machine.

All day, concerned family members and friends arrived at the farm.  In true farm spirit, they were wondering how they could help.  Right now, Ken Paul remains in critical condition in hospital.

‘The man was conscious when we arrived at scene,’ says J.P. Trottier with Ottawa Paramedic Services, ‘and we started treatment immediately.  You can imagine the injuries were extremely serious.’

Paramedics say the 69-year-old lost one arm completely; the other was severed at the forearm. 

Paul was trying to connect a piece of equipment called a power take-off shaft to his tractor.  It's a way of transferring energy from one source to another.  An on-line safety video warns of the dangers associated with this type of equipment and how quickly someone can be injured or killed. Neighbors are shocked.

Les Hethrington has known the family for three decades.

‘He lost his leg a while ago,’ says Hethrington at his neighbouring house, ‘his foot.  It was about 20 or 30 years ago in a farming accident as well.’

Ken Paul and his son Bruce run the 700-acre farm, called Appaulo Farms, as a partnership, raising primarily pure-bred Holsteins.  It has been in the family for 5 generations.

Sadly, farm accidents are on the rise among older farmers like Ken Paul, according to the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS). Each year in Ontario, there are 264 critical injuries on farms requiring hospitalization and twenty-five deaths. Entanglement, as in this case, account for a good number of those injuries and deaths.

‘When you get into these situations,’ says Dean Anderson, the Agricultural Program Manager with WSPS, ‘people do things they become complacent with.  They have equipment that they use every day and become too familiar with it. They rush to do things and that is when incidents occur.’

‘Ken has been a real good neighbor,’ says Les Hethrington, ‘you can always depend on him for help.  If you need any help.’

Now, it may be up to neighbors to see what they can do to help.

There are efforts being made to improve farm safety.  But those running the programs say the difficulty is convincing older farmers to change their ways.