Among the many hazards construction workers have to face on a daily basis, losing a limb is likely one of the most dreaded. Understandably, having an arm or leg amputated after a workplace injury is a traumatic experience for a worker and his or her family. Such a life-changing injury was the fate of a California construction worker who was working on the widening of Highway 4.
While the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health investigation is underway, reports state that the tragic incident occurred in the early evening on a recent Thursday. The incident report states that the worker, who was employed by a contractor, was busy directing traffic around the construction site in the vicinity of an auger used for drilling holes in the ground. The worker tripped and fell. He became trapped in the auger.
The worker was transported to the hospital by air after emergency workers managed to extricate him from the auger. The injuries he suffered were severe enough to necessitate amputation of his leg. At the time of the media report, the man was still in the hospital. The worker will now have to adapt to a whole new lifestyle and will be facing ongoing medical costs. Workers who have had a limb amputated — and their families — may face many challenges going forward.
The California worker will be entitled to claim benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance fund. In addition to medical expenses, he could be entitled to a monetary award for permanent disability. The amount of such financial relief will depend upon the limitations the workplace injury places on his activities, as well as his age and income rate prior to the amputation. If he is unable to continue his occupation, he may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits to provide assistance in finding alternative employment.
Source: Concord Ca. Patch, “Construction Worker Injured On Hwy 4 Undergoes Amputation; Investigation Proceeding“, Susan C. Schena, Nov. 17, 2014