A 21-year-old worker nearly lost his life as the result of a chainsaw accident that took place in Pennsylvania. While he was performing maintenance work upon a tree, the chainsaw apparently kicked back and became embedded in the man's neck and shoulder. Although his co-workers were able to detach the blade from the motor, the workers apparently felt it would be too risky for them to remove the chainsaw blade from his neck.
The workers held the blade in place until emergency responders were able to arrive on the scene. The injured man was then transported to the hospital where he underwent an hour-long surgery and received 30 stitches. He was reported in stable condition following this procedure.
Though we hesitate to call anyone fortunate that has undergone this type of accident, the hospital's director of trauma stated that such an injury could potentially have caused damage to the esophagus, airway or the spinal cord. Most of the worker's injures were sustained to muscle and soft tissue in the shoulder area rather than the neck. The chainsaw blade also only missed the carotid artery by a centimeter.
Workers' compensation laws are put into place because such accidents can be serious and possibly result in lost wages for the worker. Though money may not resolve all the consequences that come about due to a work-related accident, it can at least prevent workers and families from being placed in a more problematic situation due to financial difficulties.
We sometimes forget that individuals performing these types of tasks can be placing themselves at great risk. While it's extremely possible that this matter was a freak accident and that nobody was at fault, when workers handle equipment such as chainsaw accidents are going to sometimes occur.
Source: KFOR, "Cutting it close: Man lives to talk about this chainsaw accident," April 2, 2014