The risk of injury at work is always present. Although not all accidents can be prevented, safety-conscious employees can sometimes prevent a bad situation from becoming worse.
This scenario played out in Aurora, Colorado this week, when a construction worker became trapped underneath a giant slab of concrete.
The man and his co-workers were installing a retaining wall made of prefabricated concrete slabs. Each slab was approximately 15 feet long and weighed several thousand pounds. Apparently one of the slabs accidentally toppled over and fell on top of the man.
Thankfully, his co-workers were able to work together to lift the slab and move it off of him. In doing so, they may have saved his life. Despite the weight of the stone, the worker was conscious and talking when paramedics arrived. He was taken to a local hospital for further care.
Crush Injuries on Colorado Jobsites
Crush injuries are relatively common on Colorado construction sites and in other professions where workers encounter heavy objects or machinery. The risk of crushed hands or feet is particularly acute.
The severity of the injury generally depends on the weight of the object and the length of time the person is trapped. Common injuries include bleeding, bruising, lacerations, fractures or nerve damage. In severe cases, workers may develop compartment syndrome that results in permanent limb damage. Workers whose torsos are crushed may develop internal bleeding and organ damage.
All crush injury victims should be evaluated either by paramedics or by a hospital emergency department as soon as possible, as internal injuries cannot be detected by the naked eye.
Source: ABC 7 News, "Falling Concrete Slab Injures Worker," Alan Gathright, May 22, 2012.