Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Boss Smacked Me with a Backhoe!

There are industrial injuries and then there 's assault and battery.

The link takes you the tale of a worker smacked up by boss who tried to "nudge" him with a backhoe!  WTF!

Which puts me in mind of my client, Greg.  Greg was trained in avionics but couldn't get a job in that occupation, so he took a stopgap job at a company that paints structures in electrical substations. You know electrical substations, those scary looking road side edifices that have all Frankenstein like electronic equipment sticking up with major power lines running in and major power lines running out.  Greg and his co-workers were given like no training and sent into these places with instructions to paint the girders and other steel structures.  The workers were warned to "stay away from anything that looks hot."  Good plan, huh! Greg is painting away and standing on a girder about 15 feet off the ground--his boss wanted to paint where Greg was standing, so instead of using words, the boss starts spray painting Greg.  Greg slips and snags the girder where he dangles,  Now all in all things are going ok until the bucket on Greg's hip swings into the electrical field being given off by an "energized" piece of electrical hardware, and ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzppppp!

So I'm investigating the claim, an electrical engineer from the utility company tells me, oh yeah, we hire these sorts of outfits, because our employees aren't stupid enough to do this kind of work.  Nice.

Turns out under Our State law, the utility is immune from lawsuit because the work undertaken by Greg's company is so dangerous, the act of delegating it relieves the utility of all responsibility--despite the fact that what was involved in rerouting the electrical current around the substation while maintenance was being performed was pretty minimal.   The company where Greg worked had lost two other employees in a twenty-month period including a family member in identical accidents.  As a result they were unable to obtain insurance coverage.  Greg was lucky, he lived, and despite horrible injuries he was eventually able to return to work as an avionics engineer.

In Our State, workers' compensation is a a government run health care and compensation program.  It's not perfect, but it works pretty well.

1 comment:

  1. very cool and interesting post. i must add that it was very engulfing too. i would like to have a say - Workers' compensation is a way for employers to assist employees injured at work in their recovery. In most states, every business over a particular size is required to carry workers' compensation insurance to aid their employees. If you have been injured at work, you can work with your employer to receive the assistance you need to restore your health and return to work as quickly as possible.

    Unfortunately, however, the workers' compensation is sometimes taken advantage of in some cases of work accidents. Insurance fraud is not uncommon, and workers' compensation is prone to fraudulent claims. As a result, it can be often be difficult for people who legitimately need workers' compensation to receive their aid to the full extent they are entitled to.