A South Florida construction worker suffered an accidental amputation of his full arm on a job site in Hillsboro Beach on the morning of Nov. 29.
According to Miami’s WSVN Channel 7 News, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said witnesses reported that the 44-year-old construction worker was working with an auger, a machine used to bore holes into the ground, when his arm became entangled in the machine’s drill bit.
“The mechanical force of the drill-bit caused a complete amputation of his right arm just below the shoulder,” Broward Battalion Chief Michael Kane said in a news release.
A Hillsboro Beach Police officer who responded to the accident applied a tourniquet to the worker’s shoulder until an emergency crew arrived. The man was rushed to Broward Health North for treatment. Medics then airlifted him to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale due to the severity of his injuries.
Chief Kane said the construction worker was conscious and in stable condition.
“It goes right to your stomach. You know, it can happen to anybody in a split second,” said fellow construction worker Guy Paterra. “It doesn’t take long, man.”
“It’s all you can say, as far as the cop being there at the same time,” said Mr. Paterra, “because if not, he would have lost his life and bled to death right here.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident. According to OSHA, construction work is among the deadliest occupations in the U.S. Federal labor statistics show that of the 4,693 workers killed on the job in 2016, 991 of them were construction workers.
Studies of workplace injury data show that more construction workers die from getting caught in or caught between at job sites compared to all other major industries, according to the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).