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Workplace Injury Alert

Winter 2013


IWIF is committed to helping our policyholders and their employees work safely on the job. As a service to our customers, we want to alert you to several catastrophic injuries reported to IWIF during the past few months. In addition, we want to share general safety guidelines that may help prevent accidents like these from happening at your workplace.

Please share these injury alerts with your employees during a Toolbox Talk or safety meeting. Our hope is that sharing these alerts will remind workers of the important and basic message that workplace safety saves lives.

The following are just a sampling of recent severe injuries reported to IWIF and are summarized as a general advisory only. Some of these exposures may or may not be applicable to your workplace.



Worker suffers full and partial amputation to fingers
Office worker attempting to cross the street was struck by a motor vehicle
Trash collection worker struck by motor vehicle
Construction worker falls 8 feet from a ladder resulting in leg and elbow fractures


Worker suffers full and partial amputation to fingers


Photo of cableA worker was attempting to remove a cable wire connected to a storage container that had been off loaded.
As the worker was attempting to remove the wire from the container, another vehicle in the work area that was also attached to the wire pulled the wire, causing the wire to
cut the worker’s hand resulting in two fingers being
amputated and two other fingers being partially amputated.

The worker was taken to a local trauma center hospital where the two partially amputated fingers were surgically reattached.

General Safety Guidelines:

One should never attempt to disconnect, cut or disengage a wire or cable that is stretched and under tension. The energy that is released when the tension cable/wire is “snapped or cut” can cause sudden whipping and cutting action resulting in possible severe injury to a worker or bystander. Instead, one should release the tension in the wire/cable first before attempting to disengage or perform maintenance. Keep everyone away from a cable under tension until it is safe to approach.



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Office worker attempting to cross the street was struck by a motor vehicle

Photo of people crossing streetAn office worker was walking to deliver documents when, while crossing the street, the individual was struck by a motor vehicle. The injured worker suffered arm, shoulder and pelvic fractures.

General Safety Guidelines:

Remind and reinforce to all employees whose jobs require pedestrian travel to practice safety and be “street smart” at all times when crossing the street. Employees should also refrain from distractions while walking such as texting and using cell phones.



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Trash collection worker struck by motor vehicle

Photo of trash collectorA trash collector working in the early morning stepped off
the back of a trash truck to pick up a trash can when the worker was struck by a vehicle. The severely injured
worker was transported to a local trauma center hospital.
The worker sustained significant skull and brain trauma,
as well as chest and back injuries.

General Safety Guidelines:

Ensure that workers exposed to road work and vehicle
traffic wear high visibility reflective clothing at all times.
Train and remind workers that vehicle traffic is a constant hazard and thus should always check and recheck for approaching traffic before attempting to cross the road.



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Construction worker falls 8 feet from a ladder resulting in leg and elbow fractures

Photo of man on ladderA construction worker on a job site was standing on an
‘A’ frame ladder removing ductwork when the ductwork
suddenly fell, causing the worker to lose balance and fall roughly 8 feet. The worker suffered a fractured leg and
elbow.

General Safety Guidelines:

Question: Is a ladder the right tool for a job involving over-
head work? Is a scaffold or platform lift a safer choice?
When attempting overhead and elevated work such as installation or removal of bulky, unstable materials, remind
your workers not to overreach and always maintain three points of contact while on the ladder. The overhead work
may call for “extra hands or multiple workers” working in tandem to hold, install or remove the material safely. Using
a “duct lift” to raise or lower a section of bulky or heavy duct work is also recommended.



This alert is an advisory only. Photos are for general illustrative purposes only and do not reflect a specific injury event or person. The injuries described here and the general safety guidelines are general in nature and may not cover all details of the incident or specific safety information. It may not list all advisory hazards. IWIF assumes no responsibility for identification or correction of conditions identified as hazardous. Safety and health remain your responsibility.



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