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Special rescue team saves worker after workplace accident

A Georgia construction worker was recently successfully rescued by a specialized high-angle rescue team after he was injured while working approximately 50 feet off the ground. As part of the construction team that is involved in the reconstruction of the 13th Street bridge in Columbus, the worker was hit by an unidentified metal object in the region of his lower back. Fortunately, as per prescribed safety regulations, he was secured to a safety harness at the time, preventing this workplace accident from being fatal.

Rescuers reported that the man’s position on the scaffolding under the bridge was extremely difficult to reach, and the expert training they received made it possible to devise a rescue plan. With an intricate rope system that was secured to a fire truck for stability, a unique stretcher-basket was lowered to the area where the injured worker lay. Paramedics were also lowered to stabilize the man. The worker’s assistant, who was uninjured, was extracted by rescue workers while the team formulated a plan for the rescue of the immobile injured man.

After the man was placed in the stretcher-basket, he was lowered onto the rocky bed of the river below, and from there he was moved to the emergency vehicle. The injured worker remains in the hospital, and his condition was not made public. It is unknown whether the injuries that caused him to be immobile were due to permanent or temporary damage to his back.

Workers in Georgia, who have suffered injuries in a workplace accident, may be concerned about the time they may have to be absent from work. Construction workers are often the breadwinners of their families and could not make ends meet without an income. They may find comfort knowing that the workers’ compensation insurance fund aims to provide financial aid to injured workers. Eligible workers may claim benefits that would commonly cover medical expenses and a portion of lost income. In cases where injuries caused permanent disability, additional compensation may be considered.

Source: Columbus Ledger Enquirer, "Injured construction worker rescued from 13th Street bridge", Tiffany Stevens, July 16, 2014

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