Fire crews used powered rotary saws and hand tools to tear into a 20-foot shipping container last Tuesday evening in Fontana, California to rescue a worker trapped in a work-related accident. San Bernardino County authorities were called to the Fontana location after the container shifted while workers were unloading slabs of granite from the container. An unidentified worker was inside the container when it shifted, toppling slabs of granite in the container and trapping the worker underneath the rock.
Emergency crews say that the man was conscious inside the container, and crews were able to make voice contact through the wall of the container. That helped firefighters in where to cut into the unit in order to extricate the injured worker. Once the container was breached, rescuers used hand tools in the extrication effort.
Man trapped under granite in Fontana work accidentThe injured worker described to the crew information about what parts of his body were trapped as rescuers removed material to free the work-related accident victim. However, the injured worker joined in to his own rescue effort and used hand tools to chip away at materials that rescuers could not reach.
The rescue took roughly more than an hour. Emergency responders used airbags during the extrication to stabilize debris from the accident and rescue effort during the extrication. The worker was freed roughly one hour and 15 minutes into the rescue operation. Authorities say that the worker suffered serious injuries, but none of the injuries appear to have been life-threatening.
Cal-OSHA was notified of the industrial accident. Investigators from the workplace safety organization and officers from the Fontana Police Department responded to the accident, along with crews from the San Bernardino fire department’s Urban Search and Rescue team.
Workplace accidents can occur in the blink of an eye. When heavy materials, such as slabs of granite, are involved, the risk of injury can be great. Workers’ compensation laws allow victims of work-related accidents to recover for their injuries in a more streamlined fashion than in other forms of injury cases. However, if the negligence of a third-party is involved, an accident victim may be entitled to seek justice from that party outside of the workers’ compensation system.
Source: Fontana Herald News, “Man is rescued after being pinned beneath 1,000 pounds of granite in accident in Fontana,” May 4, 2013