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Workers’ compensation: Firefighters rescue suspended worker

| Oct 31, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reported that it had launched an investigation into an incident in which a construction worker had to be rescued by the Orange County Fire Authority. The fire chief said that the incident occurred on a recent Tuesday morning. It is unclear whether there were injuries such as suspension trauma that might lead to a workers’ compensation claim.

Reportedly, firefighters responded to the U.S. Immigration, Customs and Enforcement Building in West Santa Ana shortly after 8 a.m. to find a worker dangling on a rope at the height of the building’s seventh floor. An incident report indicates that the worker, who is employed by a waterproofing company, was working on the repair of a section of concrete on the outside of the building.

Officials report that the 48-year-old man was lowering himself and a coworker down the side of the nine-story building, but when they reached the seventh floor, the safety line of his harness became stuck. The co-worker managed to descend safely, but the other man remained dangling. The technical crew of the fire department lowered a rescue worker from the roof to free the suspended worker. They reported that the worker was brought to ground level within 30 minutes of the call for help.

Workers in such circumstances face significant risks of suffering suspension trauma, and left suspended for such a long time could be harmful. Although no mention is made of injuries, anyone in similar circumstances who suffer injuries might be eligible for compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages. An experienced California workers’ compensation attorney’s guidance and support could simplify an otherwise challenging benefits claims process.