Workplace accidents are no joke, especially when you live in a country where universal health care isn't a thing and most people are scrambling for benefits! (That's another, bothersome story we'll save for another article.)
You can thank Redditor fukhed69 for today's burning question, which is: "What's the worst workplace accident at your work?"
Warning: Sensitive and possibly triggering material ahead.
"Well, one guy..."
Well, one guy was working on a cell phone tower and a high-tension supporting line snapped, which cut off his arm and head. That wasn't cool.
"You decided which is worse."
You decide which is worse.
Worked for Cessna Aircraft, guy working a punch press didn't remove the slugs and eventually too many were there. Shot out like a bullet into his chest, little aluminum discs about 2 inch diameter. Think it actually hit his heart.
Some years after that I was a bowling alley mechanic. One of the other mechanics at one of the other alley's the company owned stayed late to clean the top of the decks that sets the pins down. Next morning, the Manager came in and saw his feet on a lane, like he was standing there. When he didn't answer she went back and found him dead. He didn't shut the machine all the way down and the deck tried to go back up with him between it and the upper parts of the machine. They guessed it took a couple hours for him to die.
Some girl didn't have her hair tied up per regulation and got too close to the conveyor belt. Scalped herself.
"My story is from manufacturing."
My story is from manufacturing. The tops of ovens are pressed out of steel with up to 10 tonne dies.
One day a man tried to retrieve something from the path of the press, safety failed and he was crushed flat, from the waist up.
"Working in a coin mint."
Working in a coin mint. A guy was running a proofing press (this one actually.puts the images on the coins) that was apparently on the fritz. They all have a laser fence that's supposed to stop the machine if anything breaks the beams. I was on the other side of the factory running a punch press, when I heard a terrible screaming from clear across this giant facility. My partner and I ran over there to a pretty f---ed up scene.
This dude was doing single stamps on his machine (where it only is supposed to strike the coin once), and when he reached in to grab the freshly minted coin, the machine bugged out and did a double strike.
His middle and ring finger were between the dies when it came down, and they literally made a coin out of his bone. I saw the coin, it was crazy, all the details were there from the die. Ambulance was called and, of course, he lost his fingers to the machine.
Worst part was the owner was trying to figure out a way to blame it on the guy, not his fucky machine, so he wouldn't have to pay him anything beyond workers comp. I left that job before the guy came back to work, but I imagine he sued the owner, and rightly so. The factory is closed now, which is a shame since it was so old it had original dies from some of the first Nobel prizes. I doubt it was related.
"The building I worked in was old."
Former work as of 2 months ago, but it answers the question "how the hell do you get injured working at a radio station?"
The building I worked in was old. Built in the 1930s. A piece of broadcasting history, and the birthplace of the career of the person who would go on to create the late night television talk show.
But while the interior of the building had been rebuilt and repurposed over the decades since, there were parts of it that were still sh!t. Most of the third floor was condemned due to pervasive asbestos, and there was an old roof access point that finally claimed a victim a few years back.
This guy was one of our engineers. A few years from retirement, and an absolute joy to work with. Funny, skilled, and genuinely a good guy. One day he was climbing up through the roof access, and the heavy door (kind of like a hatch) broke loose and came down on his head.
At first he seemed a bit dazed, but pretty soon it became apparent that he'd been badly hurt. He was rushed to the hospital, and while he survived, he was never the same. Never able to return to work. His plans to retire cut short and he wound up on disability and having to live in constant pain.
The company swept it under the rug. Only a few people knew the full extent of his injuries, and they kept it that way. Before I knew all this, I'd made a joke in the presence of the HR person about the worst injury that was possible at a radio station and her head snapped around and she looked at me like "if you only knew."
There was never any fundraiser to help pay for his care, or any celebration of his service to the company, or anything except silence. I'm sure he was taken care of financially as laid out in our (pretty decent) benefits, but they kept what happened really quiet, and that's a damned shame.
"Moral of both stories..."
I have two actually. Used to work in a supermarket deli. The first one, a girl opened the slicer blade while she was cleaning it, turned the slicer on, and then proceeded to slice the palm of her hand off when she wiped down the blade. Yep that was an instant termination and a trip to the hospital.
Next one, a guy stood on top of the fryer while it was on to clean the fryer vents, which were built into the wall above the fryers. He slipped and his leg went into 338° grease up to his knee. He was also instantly terminated and got a helicopter ride to Tallahassee to visit the burn unit.
Moral of both stories, use your brains and some common sense. It could save you a lot of pain and a job search.
"Worked as an on site medic..."
Worked as an on site medic with an oilfield company. Derrick hand (works at the top of the rig) didn't tie on with his harness. Not sure what happened, but they fell from the top of the Derrick all the way to the ground. They like. Exploded from the inside, but didn't die. Being the medic, it was my responsibility to keep them alive. Ever try giving mouth to mouth to someone that's just oozing blood? Would not recommend. Long story short, they died. And now I've got hemophobia.
"Worked at a trampoline park..."
Worked at a trampoline park and one of my fellow staff members did a flip to show off and snapped their leg like a twig. Now staff are not allowed to flip while on duty.
"I'm a vet tech."
I'm a vet tech. One of my coworkers got bit in the face by a very large terrier mix. It tore open her cheek, took off the tip of her nose, and tore her lip so bad her gums were exposed. She only narrowly avoided losing an eye.
I was bitten on three separate occasions by cats. Each time the bite got infected. All three cases involved unvaccinated animals with neurological symptoms and unknown histories. Prime rabies suspects, basically.
My own worst injury happened when I was trying to help a paralyzed dog out of kennel. We had large kennels that closed with a fence gate. She was a large German Shepherd and pulled away at just the wrong time. The force pulled me down face first into the top of the gate's supporting pole. I'm still not sure how I didn't bust a few teeth. I looked like a chipmunk for a few weeks
"I worked in a prison."
I worked in a prison. An officer was sitting at his desk doing computer work when an inmate walked up and slugged him in the head knocking him to the floor. The inmate then jumped on top of the officer and stabbed him multiple times with a homemade knife. Fortunately, the officer survived but he never returned to work. The reason for the assault; the inmate wanted to be transferred to another prison.
"He was wearing shorts..."
There was a 5" x 16" metal plate on top of a ladder, guy moved the ladder and the plate came flying down at an angle. He was wearing shorts, and the plate sliced his calve with the sharpest angle it could possible achieve. His skin was flabbing off his leg like how when you only peel one side of a banana, still attached but close to not. And so much blood.
"A guy cut his finger off..."
A guy cut his finger off on a band saw. I was off sick that day and didn't see that one, but another bad one I actually saw right in front of me was a guy getting his entire forearm sliced open by a steel plate that spun around while it was hanging from a crane.
"We hung kayaks..."
We hung kayaks off of a railing over the first level. One day another employee was hanging up a new one and it fell on a customer.
"I'm sure there's been plenty worse..."
I'm sure there's been plenty worse accidents, but one that stuck with me from my time with this company was a guy that got his hand caught in a roller press. Don't search images of degloving.
"Guy was asked..."
Guy was asked to turn the fryers off. Didn't know how. Pulled the lever that releases all the oil. 350 degree oil spills all over him. Third degree burns covered him from the torso down. He quit.
"I worked as a lifeguard..."
I worked as a lifeguard for a casino pool and one day during the summer this one guy snuck past a fence we have for our waterfall. He made his way to the top of it and we were all whistling for him to get down. He then jumped off of it 20 feet into 3 1/2 feet of water breaking his legs. His friends pulled him out of the water and out of the pool area. Security tried to call an ambulance for him but they said he didn't have insurance so they carried him into an Uber. I have no idea what happened to him after that.
"Not current job..."
Not current job, but I worked at a warehouse about 4 years ago in Florida that had a shitty forklift. The tilt cylinder was pissing hydraulic fluid like a mafka. The operations manager wanted to wait till the end of the fiscal year to get a new one though. Cheap bastard.
We had to call mechanics out to top it off (and "limp it along as long as we can") every 10 days like clockwork. Tried explaining to the Op manager that no problem ever got better by ignoring it. The fluid was leaking all over the warehouse floor and made it slippery as shit. The parking lot looked like a shitty Jackson Pollock painting any time we had to take it out to unload anything.
One day, an operator was having to get a pallet of something down from about 6-7 feet above the floor. Another associate was standing about 10 feet in front of the forklift. When the tilt cylinder breaks in half. Somebody yells out to the guy and he moves out of the way just fast enough to avoid the pallet slipping of the forks and onto his head. It does hit everything on the right side of his neck. Dislocates his shoulder, breaking his collar bone in 2 places, fracturing a couple ribs, his hip, and shin.
The operations manager refused to file the guy's workers comp claim, fired him, and the forklift was gone the next morning. Dude sued the company, but settled out of court for whatever reason.
"I'm a truck driver..."
I'm a truck driver and, a little over a year ago, there was a mechanic's helper who got killed while filling a truck tire up with air. We don't know if he got careless and wasn't paying attention or if there was some unseen damage to the tire--but--the tire (which packs about 110 psi at maximum) blew up. He was standing about 2 feet away from the tire when it exploded and the force knocked him several feet back into a concrete wall. That combined with the steel mesh from the inner tire and rubber flying around...it was pretty bad.
He was pronounced dead on the scene from a combination of massive head trauma, internal injuries, and blood loss.