We attended a 39 year old man who was carrying some boxes down the stairs. His visibility was limited, and as he went down the stairs, he missed a step. Down he went and rolled down the remaining 5 stairs. He received a serious head injury…
In 1848, Phineas Gage was working for the Rutland & Burlington Railroad. While at work, an explosion hurled a 3 foot, 7 inch long – and over one and a quarter inch in diameter – crowbar at him. The bar entered his left cheek and exited through the top of his head, flying another 25 yards before stopping!
We responded to a motor vehicle collision. When we arrived, we found we didn’t need the jaws of life to gain access to the injured because the right side of the car was torn open. An 8 year old boy was lying on top of his 35 year old dad. Both of them were on the floor in the back seat. Both were dead. Several days later, a police officer who had worked on the case told me more….
Several years ago I was involved in a situation for which I have to take full responsibility. I was getting ready for a night shift at the firehall. As I was walking out to the van, I slipped on some ice on the sidewalk…
I was speaking to a group of safety professionals at a conference and since it was early December, I talked about the number of people who are injured every year from falling off stepladders while putting up their outside Christmas lights. After my talk, two safety professionals came up and quietly told me how they had both become injured in the same way. One of them admitted he had actually been standing on the ‘THIS IS NOT A STEP’ warning (how many times have you done this?). He lost his balance and fell, knocking himself unconscious. He would have frozen to death if the neighbor’s child hadn’t gone home and asked his mother why Mr. Smith was sleeping on the sidewalk.
There are many things that can cloud our focus on safety.
During 24 years of working in Emergency Services, the following was one of the worst broken legs I’ve ever seen. A 45 year old woman was walking at a quick pace to answer the door. She had ordered a pizza, and the delivery man was there…
I attended a man who had been building a garage. He had climbed the ladder onto the garage roof to nail shingles in place. The roof was about 9 feet high. As he stepped from the ladder onto the roof with his right foot, he stepped on some plastic that was on the roof. His foot slipped, and he fell feet first onto the ground. When he landed, he heard a loud crack. When we arrived with the ambulance, his leg was bent at 90 degree angle, 3 inches below his knee. It was a very nasty break.
A man was going to take a picture of his family at a lookout point along the highway in a national park. He lined the family up and started to back up to get the shot. He hopped a fence so he could get a better picture and continued to back up. He went too far and fell down a steep embankment, sustaining injuries that would keep…..
One morning, a woman was on her way to work when she rear-ended another vehicle at a red light. She was going approximately 20 mph (30 kph) when they collided. Fortunately the damage was minor. Whenever we are called, we are obligated to check the people involved in case they are injured. It was easy to tell what the woman was doing at the exact point of impact. When we looked at her, we couldn’t help noticing a large red line that ran from the corner of her mouth right up to her ear. You guessed it. As she was driving, she was looking in the rear view mirror, applying lipstick. At impact, her hand, with the lipstick in it, streaked across her face.