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Workplace injury leads to 9-hour surgery in California hospital

A construction worker in California had to undergo nine hours of surgery after suffering catastrophic injuries in a workplace accident on a recent Thursday afternoon. The incident occurred at a work site in Milpitas where a directional drilling project on a water tank was underway. A spokesperson for the Milpitas Fire Department reported that medical personnel did not expect the victim of this workplace injury to survive for longer than the first night, but he was apparently still holding on to life at the time of this report.

An investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is underway, and few details about the accident are available. Cal/OSHA says the 27-year-old worker fell from a catwalk platform and landed on a steel fence post that impaled him. Emergency services were called to the scene.

Upon the arrival of emergency crews, it was found that the worker had already been lifted from the steel post. He apparently suffered severe internal injuries. A medical helicopter rushed the worker to a hospital, and he was immediately prepared for surgery. His current condition is unknown, but treatment is reported to continue.

Cal/OSHA's investigators will likely determine whether violations of safety regulations by this man's employer led to his critical workplace injury. Regardless of who was responsible, the worker may pursue workers' compensation benefits to cover medical expenses. He may also be unable to return to work for some time, and the California workers' compensation benefits will also include a percentage of lost-income coverage. This is typically based on the worker's average income prior to the accident.

Source: Milpitas Ca. Patch, "Worker Recovering After Impaling Accident In Milpitas", Susan C. Schena, June 9, 2015

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