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Date PostedOctober 4, 2013

Teenage Worker Pierced by Metal Bar

A terrifying accident has taken place on a construction site recently which left a young worker with a metal pole lodged in his head.

The bizarre incident took place when the 19 year old worker, Kieran Dodge was driving an excavator, clearing rubble on a construction site when the steel pole pushed through the cab floor of the excavator and embedded itself in the centre of his head on Friday last week.

According to reports, the young worker remained conscious throughout the ordeal despite being in extensive pain. The worker was freed, after quite some time in the cab, by emergency workers. They managed to remove most of the pole but had to leave some of it still wedged about 6cm into his skull to be removed in hospital. The worker was then taken to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Lindfield.

Amazingly the 19 year old worker is expected to make a full recovery and according to his girlfriend is awake and talking.

In an article on Smh.com.au Kieran’s state was discussed,

AM-N-IMPALED-20130817211814314800-300x0‘Thank you everyone for ur [sic] kind messages Keiran Dodge is stable he is awake and talking. Keep you all posted soon,’’ Mr Dodge’s girlfriend Jessie Karl posted on Facebook on Saturday afternoon.

Neurosurgeon Brian Owler said the severity of the injury would depend on the way the skull had been penetrated.

”If it goes and misses the areas that control movement or speech or some of the basic functions like breathing, often patients will survive,” Associate Professor Owler said. ”If it misses important arteries and blood vessels.”

Impalements are generally considered ”low-energy” entries (when compared with injuries from bullets and other projectiles) and damage is more likely to be localised.

The best advice in such circumstances was to leave the object in place to prevent blood loss, he said.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/impaled-teens-fight-to-recover-20130817-2s3gf.html

According to Les Hotchin of Paramedics Australasia injuries such as this one with a device penetrating a part of the body and remaining there, the general rule is to leave it there to rather be removed surgically.

The union said that Workcover are currently investigating the incident.The incident has led the CFMEU to decide to take action to prevent further injuries to excavator and machinery operators – the post goes on to explain:

After the incident the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union said they would advocate for steel mesh cages on the front of machinery during demolitions involving heavy material to prevent material entering the cab.

‘‘The best we can do for this young man now is ensure this type of accident is prevented from happening again,’’ the union’s state secretary Brian Parker said in a statement.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/impaled-teens-fight-to-recover-20130817-2s3gf.html

Although the CFMEU’s actions are welcomed, in fact anything to keep workers safe is good but it is also important that we remember the need to ensure that all workers are properly trained, certified and supervised to undertake work in the construction sector, particularly high risk work involving young workers.


Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

Posted in General Construction, White Card, White Card Construction Site Safety Articles Tagged with: , , , , ,


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