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Construction workers pinned by concrete slab, serious injury

Construction workers are often seen wearing safety helmets and brightly colored vests in Florida. This is because their jobs tend to be less safe than other positions, such as those belonging to people employed in office buildings and restaurants. Underscoring this lack of safety is a recent construction accident that left two workers pinned underneath a slab of concrete for some time.

According to reports, two men were working to cut a slab of concrete that they believed to be secured. The large piece - estimates indicate that it weighed nearly 50,000 pounds - was cut while they were on top of it. The slab was not secured and it fell, taking the men with it. Officials said that both of the workers were pinned by their ankles but emergency responders had been trained for just this sort of situation.

A large piece of machinery was brought in to pull the concrete slab - reportedly measuring 11 feet in width and 40 feet in length - from on top of the men. Rescue workers and construction workers cooperated in the effort, using jackhammers to clear the situation before the incident took a turn for the worse. Two hours after being pinned, the men were freed. When emergency responders first arrived, they followed protocol and began treating the trapped individuals with IVs and pain relievers. This process lasted through until the extrication.

Once freed, the two men were rushed to the hospital and reportedly sustained severe trauma to their legs. It is unclear what sort of damage was truly done - it may be irreparable. If either of them is incapable of working due to the incident and the employer can be held responsible, they may be able to file a successful lawsuit. Such suits can allow them to seek compensation for the incident and the lasting effects it will likely have on their future incomes.

Source: KIII TV, "Trapped Workers Rescued, Recovering After Construction Accident," March 7, 2013

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