It was an injury that one neurosurgeon described as being a 9.9 on a scale of one to 10. The seriousness of the traumatic brain injury one construction worker sustained was readily apparent, but what has been surprising is that he has made a near complete recovery. While this young crane operator was fortunate, he still has some way before he will be able to return to work.
The accident happened in the early morning at the construction site the young man and several other employees were working at to build a bridge, a construction site that could easily be found in the Denver area. The young man had been working with another crane operator to lift a 52-ton concrete girder in tandem, their third of the day, when his crane crumpled, throwing him from the crane’s cab.
Fortunately for the crane operator, one of the safety operators at the site was able to get emergency medical responders to the site of the accident quickly. They rushed him to a hospital, but he was quickly showing signs of brain death. Doctors took emergency procedures, putting him into a coma, inducing temporary paralysis, removing sections of the skull to allow for brain swelling and other tactics to save the man’s life. After seven months of surgeries, procedures and rehabilitation, the man is now largely recovered, but he still has some way to go.
Had this accident happened in Denver, it is extremely likely that the construction worker and his family would have applied for Colorado workers’ compensation benefits. Though the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is still trying to determine what caused this accident, an employee won’t forfeit his or her workers’ compensation benefits for being responsible for the accident that ultimately led to his or her injuries. As this construction worker continues to recover and get ready to go back to work, his worker compensation benefits may be essential in covering his bills.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “After critical head injury, crane operator makes remarkable recovery,” Georgia Pabst, Feb. 10, 2013
Stop by our work-related head injuries page to see how traumatic brain injuries in Colorado can lead to temporary or permanent disability.