You may think you have a relatively safe worksite, but think again. As the following readers indicated, in some cases gruesomely, no workplace is safe from accidents and injury. The moral of their stories – be on guard and adhere to established safety protocols no matter where you work.
Fingers Were Cut by Guillotine Paper Cutter
I previously worked in advertising. We didn’t have the most dangerous job, but we did use a lot of knives and sharp objects. Presentation boards had to be created, folding brochure comps had to be built, and every now and then a complex 3-D model had to be created out of paper and foam core.
My first agency job was at a direct mail company, where almost everything we created was printed on paper. Because we used more paper than the average agency, we frequently used an industrial-sized, guillotine paper cutter capable of slicing through a small phone book in one fell swoop.
As many of us were getting ready to leave one Friday afternoon, we heard a high-pitched shriek from the pasteup room, followed by loud screaming. Clara, one of our art directors, was apparently in a hurry and attempted to save time by chopping a large number of papers at once. Her finger slipped as she held her stack and lowered the heavy blade. Her left index finger had been guillotined clean off. Dave, one of our colleagues, swooped in and led her to the nearest sink in the darkroom, calling out for someone to get the first aid kit.
Clara did not lose her finger permanently, thanks in part to Dave and the hospital’s talented surgeons, though she did take about a week off to recover.
Waiter Slipped and Cracked His Head on Cement Counter
Back in my early 20s, I used to work for a small coffee shop near my college campus. Our menu consisted of mostly caffeinated beverages and light lunches. The barista who was preparing the carbonara pasta accidentally spilled the carbonara sauce on the floor near the coffee machine. So, he left the spilled sauce to get a mop.
One of our waiters was in a hurry because one of our customers was already mad, but as he hurried, he slipped on the carbonara sauce and hit his head on the edge of the cement counter. He became unconscious and the back of his head was pierced by the edge of the cement.
Veronica Thompson is the COO of Everyday Power. She also holds an MBA. In her free time, she bakes, dances, and paints.
Foot Got Caught In a Rice Threshing Machine
Before working in this company, I used to work in an international agricultural research organization. One time, we visited one of the satellite research offices in Southeast Asia. There, the workers showed us how they harvest and process rice grains.
Unfortunately, there was a malfunction in the rice threshing machine, so one of the workers kicked the machine. It suddenly worked, but his foot got caught in the thresher. It was a very bloody accident and a very traumatizing one at that.
Luckily, one of the workers was quite fast, and he could pull the other one away. The one who got into the accident lost his big toe and index toe. That is, by far, the worst workplace accident I have ever witnessed.
Leg Pierced by Lumber
There was a guy who got kicked in the leg by a table saw. In my previous job, I was employed by a furniture manufacturer. Mostly cottonwood was used for the sofa frames, but they also used any kind of wood they could find. They milled the logs on site into sizes they could use. An industrial table saw was used to slice the rough lumber into usable lumber after it was cut into large slabs.
We were mostly under twenty because we were cheap labor, and the man on the table saw was one of the foremen still in his early twenties. A slab more than a foot long, three inches thick, and possibly ten feet long was being ripped (cut lengthwise, with the grain).
Possibly two feet long, the end was jagged from a break. The foreman’s thigh was hit by the lumber as the saw kicked it back and the wood point passed through and emerged from the other side. Blood flowed from the jagged end that pierced muscle and skin.
The younger man was grabbed by an older man who jumped from his workstation. He reached down and broke off the wood, leaving a huge splinter piercing the young man’s leg as he screamed and tried to remove the wood from his thigh. The piece of the board where he broke was thinner than those in the thigh, but it was still substantial. The old man’s strength was beyond me.
The elder man carried the injured man between him and another close by before they vanished. Fortunately, the young foreman survived. The wood passed through his thigh between the femoral artery and the bone. In my mind, I still see the older man breaking the wood slab point with his bare hands.
Overheating PC Tower Burned Colleague’s Leg
The worst workplace injury incident I’ve witnessed is a computer tower overheating and burning one of our colleague’s legs. He suffered third degree burns. I consider this the worst workplace injury because of the nature of our work involves a lot of clerical tasks. In such an environment, an injury like the one I witnessed is almost unfathomable and hence came as a surprise to many people.
The management moved in swiftly to cater to the injured employee’s hospital bill and also went further to offer compensation. Additionally, the computers in the company were replaced within a week and new electricity surge control systems installed.
This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.