In Menlo Park, a steel worker was severely injured after falling from an upper level construction foundation, according to The Menlo Park Patch.
The accident occurred around 8:35 a.m. last Tuesday morning at Facebook’s new building 21, according to Menlo Park Fire Protection district officials. Approximately 35% of on-the-job injuries are caused by machine accidents each year, but since the worker was at a high altitude, he fortunately was wearing protective gear.
“Fire Paramedics used exterior stairs to gain access to the male Steel Worker with sub-contractor Schuff Steel who advised that he had sustained a 10 to 15 foot fall from the fourth floor when a piece of decking or steel he stepped on partially dislodged,” said the Menlo Park Fire Protection District in a news release. “His safety harness and rigging stopped his descent prior to coming into contact with the third floor.”
Immediately following the incident, other steel workers came to assistance by unhooking his safety equipment and securing him on the floor.
Knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain, and the victim unfortunately suffered from severe pain, bruising, and abrasions, which fire officials attributed to the “rapid deceleration.”
The victim was lowered by paramedics and taken to Stanford Hospital. He was released the same day.
“Menlo Park Firefighters took full cervical spine precautions and immobilized the conscious patient man out of an abundance of caution and for further evaluation at the trauma center,” the agency said.
This incident proves that just because steel parts are now more dent resistant and are up to 30% stronger than they were a decade ago, that doesn’t mean safety equipment isn’t an absolute necessity for steel construction workers.
“Fortunately, the steel worker was wearing his safety harness and rigging, which probably helped to prevent significant injury or even death,” said Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman in a statement.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the most common personal injury cases include: motor vehicle accidents (52%), medical malpractice (15%), and product liability (5%). Although this isn’t a personal injury case, it is the second time this year a worker has been injured at this location. Needless to say, an OSHA investigation is underway.
“Nothing can be touched at the accident site until CAL-OSHA conducts an investigation,” said Schapelhouman. “We will obviously support the primary contractor and OSHA investigators in any way necessary so this project can safely move forward to a successful conclusion, hopefully without further incident.”
In late April, two iron workers at the Facebook building were severely injured after a steel beam they were standing on suddenly fell 20 feet. Luckily, they too were wearing safety harnesses.
Fire officials said both workers suffered puncture wounds in addition to pain to the lower extremities.
“I spoke with our Fire Marshal this evening and we will obviously support the contractor and OSHA investigators in anyway necessary,” said Fire Chief Schapelhouman after April’s incident. “But we will also want to be involved with any type of deconstruction plan and process needed, so the project can safely move forward again.”