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Daring Helicopter Rescue for Injured Worker in Crane Accident

Working at any construction or demolition site is dangerous work.  Every year, many workers are injured and killed on construction sites from accidents that involved being crushed by falling debris or materials, being run over by large construction equipment, being injured by power equipment, and other similar accidents.  When dealing with construction projects on skyscrapers, we see other types of serious accidents, including workers falling to their deaths from extreme heights.

helicopter-1450413According to a recent news feature from the Los Angeles Times, a worker was injured in a crane accident 270 feet above the ground and had to be rescued by a hoist from a helicopter. Witnesses say the 50-year-old crane operator suffered a serious injury on the job that made it impossible for him to climb down the ladder to safety and to get medical attention.When co-workers called 911, first responders quickly learned that the man was injured and unable to get himself down from the crane that was secured to the top of a building.  In some large cities, tower cranes are required to be erected inside the foundation of a building to prevent them from falling over and injuring people and property below.  In areas without such a restriction, we have seen cranes fall over and cut cars in half and injure and kill motorists and pedestrians down below.

In this case, the first responders had no way to get him down without air support, since they could not carry him down the ladder in his current condition without serious effort and risk of further injury to rescue workers and the injured worker. With that in mind, rescue workers called in a helicopter operated by the fire department to the scene to get the injured worker to safety.

When the helicopter arrived on the scene, they were able to send down a rescue worker on a harness with a cable and hydraulic winch and secure the worker in another harness, and the two men were lifted back into the helicopter.  This was not a typical medevac hospital helicopter, but they were able to secure the injured worker and transport him to a local level- one trauma center with a helipad on site.

If you were injured while working at a construction site, one issue that you should discuss with an experienced Boston workers’ compensation attorney is the difference between an employee and independent contractor.  The reason this is important is because employers will sometimes try to claim that the injured worker was an independent contractor and not an employee.  If the worker truly was an independent contractor, he or she would not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  However, you should not just take the employer’s word for it that you are not an employee.  While there is no question the person you work for is a general contractor or even a subcontractor, most people who work for him or her are actually employees that can collect workers’ compensation benefits.

If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Injured crane worker hoisted from 270-foot high perch above downtown L.A., August 11, 2016, By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times

More Blog Entries:

Parr v. Breeden – Supervisor Co-Workers Not Liable Under Workers’ Comp Exclusive Remedy, July 3, 2016, Boston Work Accident Lawyer Blog