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Date PostedOctober 19, 2013

Workers Leg Crushed by Falling Tree

Crushing accidents are all too common on construction sites and they are the kind of freak accident which is often difficult to foresee, especially for the worker who suffers the injury. Most frequently accidents which result in crushing injuries for a worker, occur at the hands of another, which is a testament to the interconnected nature of work on a construction site. This interconnectedness also stresses the need for safety adherence.

An incident which took place on a site at a rural property west of Ipswich is an example of how these freak accidents occur. Falling objects can cause serious injuries, debilitations and fatalities. The latest falling object incident took place when a 52 year old excavator operator had his leg crushed by a tree while he attempted to clear it. The tree subsequently crashed into the excavator’s cabin and broke his leg.

The man is believed to have been reconfiguring the dam wall on the property off Grandchester-Mt Mort Rd.

The man was lucky to have gotten away with only a broken leg as paramedics explained that the man could have easily been killed. This post from Qt.com.au explains:

9-2007711-ips030913exca03a_t460AN EXCAVATOR operator’s leg was crushed by a tree as he worked on a dam wall at a rural property west of Ipswich.

The 52-year-old was operating the heavy machinery when a 9.5m tree he was clearing crashed into the cabin, breaking his leg.

Workmates rushed to help as the fallen tree pinned him to the cabin at a property on Hogans Rd in Grandchester.

Emergency services said the injured man was lucky the incident didn’t claim his life.

The impact almost knocked the man out of the cabin, and emergency services used harnesses to support his body weight as they worked to free him.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Ripley station Officer Ian Bland said if the tree, which had a 30cm diameter, hit the man’s torso he might not have survived.

Source: http://www.qt.com.au/news/tree-crushes-workers-leg/2008550/

The incident is still under investigation but as emergency services representatives explained, a tree that large could have caused a much more serious accident. It could have hit the man in the chest or abdomen and killed him.

The co-workers of the man acted quickly and well to stabilise him when the incident occurred.

It is believed that the huge tree came through the cabin as the man was attempting to remove vegetation from the dam wall at 11:40am. Once the emergency services personnel arrived, they worked with the man’s co-workers to help him during an elaborate operation involving the Jaws of Life. The article goes on to explain”

The crew cut off one of the tree’s branches and used the Jaws of Life to cut into the excavator’s hydraulic controls to free his fractured leg. It took the QFRS nearly 90 minutes to free him from the cabin.

Queensland Ambulance Service administered pain relief to the injured man during the operation.

Once free, the man was transported to the PA Hospital by the EMQ helicopter at 12.40pm.

Source: http://www.qt.com.au/news/tree-crushes-workers-leg/2008550/


Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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