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Hurt on the Job

For many of us who go to work, we’re usually looking to put in our time as best as we can to do a great job and advance ourselves, and go home to relax and recuperate for the next day. For the vast majority of working Americans, we work the whole shift sitting down. For those of us who aren’t working sitting down, we’re often at risk of some sort of danger. This danger can range from people who work in coal mines, to people who work unloading trucks and pallets, or anyone on a construction site. You can find out more about the ways people are injured at work by clicking here.

For all of us, however, it’s very important that our workplaces keep it safe for us to work. Otherwise, we very well may not be able to come back the next day as planned. I recently had a run-in with this issue. I work in construction, and I often have to climb the scaffolding to do my work. When we put the scaffolding up, we obviously pay great attention that it’s sturdy and put together properly because we don’t want it to fall apart on us while we’re working. Falling from the heights that we work at would cause debilitating injuries, and sometimes even death, so it’s very important that scaffolding is done properly.

One day on the job, I was climbing the scaffolding and I was somewhere in between the second and third story on the building when parts of the scaffolding started to give way from under me. I’m not particularly heavy, but something was clearly wrong with the parts because nothing was loose. I tried to get one last push so I could move up to a higher bar to hold on, but it was too late, it gave out completely and I came falling down after crashing into a bar on my way down. It was a miserable fall, one of my fingers got stuck where I was trying to hold on so I wouldn’t fall and it got dislocated, and I had maybe 4 broken ribs and two broken ankles. Now I’ve recovered and can walk fine, but I almost constantly need ankle supports or high top shoes/boots to keep me feeling comfortable walking around. My ability to do my work has been mostly crippled, and I’m left doing work on the ground now, which is probably for the best anyway.

What had happened was that the parts given to us to put together the scaffolding were old and worn out, and so one of the essential parts of the scaffolding was beginning to bend and break off despite it being placed properly. Eventually, on my unlucky turn, it gave out and I came tumbling down despite my best efforts. Somewhere along the chain, someone decided it wasn’t necessary to keep the people in a risky position as safe as possible and thought the old, worn-out scaffolding would suffice for us. Surprise surprise—it didn’t.

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