Below is a summary of non-fatal workplace incidents handled by Victoria’s Metropolitan Ambulance Service over the last few weeks.
Many of these incidents gain no media attention principally due to the fact that the workers did not die but the incidents are of relevance ot safety professionals and provide a better perspective on the frequency of workplace incidents.
The first case saw advanced life support paramedics from Footscray called to an Altona North address at 8am.
The Paramedic, Cameron Joyce, said when they arrived they were told the 42-year-old woman had been working with machinery when the accident happened. “‘The woman told us that the fingers on her left hand were crushed for only two or three seconds. It was clear though even that was enough to cause substantial damage. Her left hand had deformities to three of her fingers. First aiders at the scene used bandages to effectively slow the bleeding.”
Just hours later intensive care paramedics from Dandenong were called to a local address to reports a man had also crushed part of his left hand. The 24-year-old man had apparently been working with sheet metal when the accident happened just before 11.30am. He was in considerable pain and was given pain relief medication through a drip to his arm. The worst affected finger was cleaned with saline and wrapped in wet dressing before being splinted to another finger. He was taken to hospital in a stable condition.
Man shot in head with nail gun
A man has been shot in the head with a nail gun on a Footscray worksite. The 18-year-old man was putting up a fence when he was injured at 9.30.
‘The man told us he was picking up off-cuts from the fence and when he stood up his boss accidentally fired the nail gun,’ Paramedic Brett Wilson said. ‘A six centimetre nail went into the top of the man’s head, and was fully embedded. Thankfully they didn’t try to remove the nail – which can cause more damage and serious bleeding as it is pulled out….. The man was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital where the nail will be removed.”
Fall from ladder
A tradesman suffered head and spinal injuries when he fell three metres from a ladder at Fairfield. Intensive care paramedic Debra Norbury says the 39-year-old man was discovered sitting on the ground by a workmate.
‘A colleague heard the man fall and found him on the ground with the fallen ladder beside him,’ Ms Norbury said. ‘He was initially confused indicating a head injury, and also had pain to his shoulder and hip…[he] was taken to … hospital in a stable condition.”.
Four metre fall
Advanced life support paramedics were called to a worksite to find a man, in his early 40s, lying on concrete.
‘The man aged … had fallen about four metres and was in considerable pain. Given the instability of the area where he landed we had to wait for MFB crews to make the area safe before we could get him out…. He has an elbow injury and suspected back injuries. Incredibly he didn’t seem to have hit his head on the way down or as he landed, and has been conscious throughout…. Given the nature of the scene and amount of scaffolding around, this man is incredibly lucky not to have more serious injuries’ Paramedic Daniel Candy said.
A man suffered serious hand injuries in an accident involving a power saw at a Bayswater factory. According to advanced life support paramedic David McCulloch says they arrived within four minutes to find a 25-year-old man had cut his hand.
‘The saw cut across the top of his hand from his index finger to his little finger causing serious cuts and bleeding,’ Mr McCulloch said. ‘Some of his fingers are also fractured.”
He was taken to hospital.