Firefighters rescued a DPW worker that became trapped in a piece of City construction equipment on Orange Street last Thursday, May 22, when the equipment compressed inward – crushing the man at the waist and causing him extreme pain.
Around 10:46 a.m., Engine 2 and Tower 1 were dispatched to Orange Street for the report of a DPW worker trapped inside a piece of construction equipment. Units arrived and found the worker trapped inside a piece of equipment called a Skid-Steer, which is similar to a backhoe. The front of the Skid-Steer had compressed inward, crushing the worker at his waist and lower extremities.
Firefighters evaluated the worker who was conscious and alert but in extreme pain. Crews worked to free the man using equipment such as rescue air bags and hydraulic rams, which are both designed to lift heavy objects. However, neither piece of equipment would fit in the small space necessary to free the worker.
Under the direction of Capt. Michael Masucci, the firefighters deployed a new piece of equipment recently purchased by the department called a Grip Hoist. The firefighters used a nearby dump truck as an anchor point for the hoist and secured the other end to the crushed Skid-Steer. Within minutes the worker was extricated from the vehicle and transported to the MGH in Boston.
“We were fortunate to have the new Grip Hoist on the truck,” said Capt. Masucci. “We pride ourselves on being prepared for any situation and today it paid off.”
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident.