Injury at Omaha zoo sends worker to the hospital

The condition of an ironworker who was injured on the job last month at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, which is being constructed in Omaha, has been upgraded from critical to good, the director of the zoo reported at a recent press conference.

The non-fatal construction accident occurred while work was being done on the Conservation Academy, which is north of the Desert Dome at the zoo. In April, the zoo broke ground on its Conservation Academy and Adventure Trails, which will be the new headquarters for the facility's education program, as well as being a hub for the area's youth when it opens next summer.

A 911 dispatcher from Douglas County was first informed at approximately 11:20 a.m., on Aug. 29 that the 54-year-old construction worker had been hit by a beam weighing 500 pounds.

Despite his injuries, he remained alert and conscious en route to the Nebraska Medical Center with paramedics. He was able to tell doctors that the massive beam slid out of its harness and knocked him down, then fell onto his upper chest, cutting his skin. Emergency room physicians ordered X-rays in order to detect any internal injuries; none were life-threatening.

The ironworker is employed by M&M Steel Erection, a subcontractor on the job site, a spokesperson for Kiewit Corp. said.

At the press conference the day after the accident, the zoo director remarked, "I hear the fellow's doing pretty well, and that's great news for everybody associated with the zoo."

While it appears that the above worker was extraordinarily lucky, not all such accidents on construction sites end so well. If you were injured on a job site, you have the right to pursue a workers' compensation claim for the injuries, damages and losses you suffered in the course of your employment.

Source: Omaha World-Herald, "Man injured while working at Omaha zoo listed in good condition," Jay Withrow and Blake Ursch, Aug. 30, 2016

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