Company owners in Oklahoma and other states are expected to protect their workers against on-the-job injuries. However, it is not uncommon for unanticipated accidents to occur, and there should be contingency plans in place. In a recent construction accident in another state, the importance of being prepared for unforeseen incidents causing workplace injuries was underscored.
A worker was reported to have been in a barge underneath a bridge where construction took place. He was struck by a component that became dislodged from a crane that was situated on the barge. The report states that the weight of the component that trapped the 51-year-old worker was several thousand pounds. An accident investigation will likely determine the reason for the equipment failure.
Effective contingency plans may have saved the worker's life. The fire department chief stated that the safety officer of the contracting company had met with him prior to commencement of the bridge construction to discuss emergency plans. When the emergency call went out, these plans were set into action, and the injured worker was removed from the accident scene and on his way to the hospital within 30 minutes. He was in critical condition and was subsequently transferred by helicopter to a different hospital.
This worker may have to spend a considerable time in the hospital, followed by time to recuperate, and he will likely be unable to return to work for an extended period. However, he will be entitled to claim benefits from the workers' compensation insurance fund. In addition to compensation for medical expenses, he will receive compensation to cover a percentage of lost wages. If the injuries he suffered caused partial or permanent disability, additional benefits may be paid. Oklahoma workers who have suffered workplace injuries may find comfort in knowing that experienced workers' compensation attorneys will provide guidance through the complicated procedures of claiming benefits.
Source: NBC Chicago, "Worker Critically Injured at I-90 Bridge Project", Dec. 5, 2014