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Tree worker survives accident that buries chainsaw in his neck


For many workers involved in manual labor, the threat of workplace injuries always looms large. Such an injury can render a worker temporarily or permanently unfit for work, thereby resulting in lost wages. The most serious accidents claim lives.

Given the financial impact of such events, Pennsylvania law requires employers to pay workers' compensation if an employee is injured at the workplace. A recent accident near Pittsburgh will undoubtedly put the workers' comp process to work.

When a 21-year-old tree trimmer was high up in a pine tree on a company job, the chainsaw he was using kicked on a branch and rebounded into his neck. The saw blade embedded itself just short of his carotid artery.

Co-workers were able to lower the trimmer to the ground and safely isolate the blade. First responders took him to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh where he received emergency treatment. According to doctors in the emergency room who were working to stabilize him enough for surgery, the victim was upset but not panicky and he could even speak to those in the emergency room.

One hour of surgery and 30 stitches later, the injured worker was recovering and listed in stable condition. The man would certainly have died if the blade had severed his carotid artery, the major blood vessel that carries blood to the brain. He was also fortunate that he did not damage his spinal cord or airway, which are common injuries in this sort of accident. Doctors expect a complete recovery.

Incidents such as this one highlight the need for compensation to cover the various costs associated with injuries sustained in the workplace. The worker could easily have died from his injuries. He will certainly rack up considerable medical expenses, so compensation from his employer will be necessary as he recovers.

Source: kaj18.com, "Cutting it close: PA man survives accident that put chainsaw into his neck," April 1, 2014

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