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Workplace injury follows worker's leg trapped in silo auger

Strict safety regulations are prescribed by the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, some workers have to carry out tasks that may put them in potentially life-threatening conditions. Every worker in California has the right to a safe workplace environment without known hazards that could lead to a life-threatening workplace injury. The swift response of firefighters in a potentially life-threatening situation recently saved a worker's life.

Chico firefighters were called to a farm where almonds are processed for packing. Upon arrival, the firefighters found a worker whose leg was trapped in an auger in a silo. They reported that the man was removing almonds from the confined space when he stepped into a hole and caused his leg to be pulled in by the auger.

The worker was experiencing excruciating pain while the firefighters worked on devising a plan to extricate his foot. The presence of the almonds, along with the confined space, made the rescue extremely difficult. Only by opening the motor and turning the auger in the reverse direction could the worker be freed. He was rushed to a hospital and was fortunate to survive the traumatic ordeal with only injuries to his foot, although the injuries were severe.

The financial implications of a California workplace injury can be crippling -- not only in relation to medical expenses but also because of the length of time an injured worker has to be away from work. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance fund provides financial assistance to any worker who has suffered a workplace injury. This assistance can help with medical bills and provide some level of compensation for lost income.

Source: chicoer.com, "Chico fire rescues man trapped in auger at almond processing facility", Ashley Gebb, May 6, 2015

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