A New York worker is in the hospital and in guarded condition following an accident. According to reports, the 48-year-old worker became trapped under three bundles of rolled steel weighing an estimated 5,000 pounds. It is unclear how the accident occurred. However, reports say that the man’s co-workers were able to remove two of the bundles using a crane. The other bundle of steel sat on the man’s legs for at least 40 minutes as local firefighters worked to free the man.

Once the man was free from the steel, he was flown to a local hospital with serious injuries. Reports indicate that he is recovering from possible internal injuries and from leg injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating this workplace accident to determine how it happened.

Injured workers, like this man, face a variety of physical and financial challenges. Those injured on the job could spend days, weeks or months in a hospital recovering from very serious injuries. Even when they are released from the hospital, people can still need to spend months in rehabilitation to try to get a full recovery. During this time medical bills can start to pile up. Furthermore, if people are unable to work during this time, they may have no income or way to pay for their everyday expenses — let alone expenses related to the accident.

In order to avoid this situation, New York employers are supposed to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation is then supposed to cover the expenses caused by a workplace injury including medical costs and lost wages. However, applying for these benefits can sometimes be complicated and can be denied if people do not have the right help. People need to make sure they understand their right to compensation and what evidence they need to prove that they qualify for these benefits.

Source: My Fox NY, “Worker pinned under 5,000 pounds of steel in NY”, April 12, 2014