Injured on the job

United States
November 11, 2009 3:12am CST
Hello, i was working on a air force base. I was working for a private contractor that was sub contracting for another company in Sioux City Iowa. I was on a JCB extendable forklift. I was approximately 22feet off the ground. I was inside of a jet engine wind tunnel. I was working for an employer that was always in a hurry. I was using a plasma cutter torch. It was wet and muddy,( my boss's son had positioned me inside of the tunnel) I was cutting the ceiling of the tunnel with the plasma when all of a sudden, the JCB slid out from underneath approximately two foot. I tried to hang onto the ceiling, all of a sudden, there was nothing beneath me, except air. I looked down and I thought (oh f**k) this is going to hurt and I fell. Approximately 16-to 18 feet on the solid steel. There was upright steel structures on the bottom. My foot hit first and then my lower spine and both elbows. My boss and his son Steve, saw the forklift slide because they were at the other end of the tunnel. They must have thought something bad happened. Because I wasn't on the scaffolding any more. The next thing I knew, I was laying on a big steel hole, and I couldn't move. My arms and legs were numb, plus my ears and was numb from the impact. Rick said Don't Move. He never said, we will call an ambulance. I laid there in mud, dirt,water and insulation. I couldn't breathe. I was in horrible pain. Steve said I saw the lift slide back because it was muddy. I laid on the steel floor for approximately 15 minutes. They tried to pick me up and I said NO!NO!No! Wait I will try to do it myself. Approximately a half hour later, I pulled myself out of the hole, they were trying to help me. I crawled and drug myself to the end of the tunnel. Rick said I will go get the truck, sit in the truck. I made my way out of the tunnel, Rick brought the truck. About 5 minutes later, he helped me into the back seat, I couldn't breathe. I can barely move, my legs and arms were numb. My head hurt, I sat in the truck for about 10 minutes. I still couldn't breathe. I called my wife and told her I fell about 18 feet. About 15 minutes later, I saw Steve walking beside the truck and said that I have to go to the hospital. They said do you want to go to the Sioux City hospital? Isaid no, I have already called my wife, she is waiting. They asked me if I wanted to go to the AirForce Base Medical Unit. I said i have already called Kathy. She is waiting.Everybody got in the truck, we started to leave the base, we stopped at the checkpoint. Rick told the guard that he had an injured man, so we left. We got approximately three miles out of town, on the interstate and Dan started whining that he had lost his cell phone. So we turned around and went back to get Dan's cell phone. We had proceeded to Yankton (SD). They dropped me off at home, my wife helped me inside and got me out of my dirty, muddy clothes. and took me to the emergency room immediately. I was admitted, and they gave me morphine for the pain. They then took me to X ray found out that I had a fractured ankle and possible fractured discs.
1 response
• India
11 Nov 09
You are a hell of a lucky guy to have survived with what injuries you have. I salute your courage, the fact that you were able to extricate yourself shows a lot of self determination.But unfortunately I cannot appreciate the lack of compassion show3n by your friend who wanted to get his cell phone instead of getting you to hospital as soon as possible.Get well soon and be back in business.Men like you are needed in all works of life.I hope you remain an example of courage for your unit.