This street department employee is lucky. Well, so to speak. It’s not so lucky to have a heaping piece of asphalt fall on you, but it is lucky to live through the accident without suffering so much as a broken bone. According to the article, the employee was in a ditch when the piece of asphalt “broke loose and fell on top of him.” At first glance, this seems like just a bizarre coincidence, but even an accident like this is preventable. We don’t have all the answers, but we do have some questions. Were there any signs of wear and tear on the equipment that failed? If not, was it even the proper equipment to use on a heavy piece of asphalt? And what was an employee doing standing under a hovering piece of asphalt anyways? Yes, hindsight is 20/20, and no one can look into the future and predict an accident. However, you can start the conversation on safety and risk today. Make your employees think about whether behaviors and conditions are safe or unsafe. Doing so increases the likelihood that they will avoid risk or take themselves out of risky situations all together.
A Jasper city employee was injured Friday afternoon in a workplace accident.
Billy Wade, a longtime employee in the city’s streets department, was hurt when a large piece of asphalt fell on him while street department crews were replacing a culvert along Airport Road North near Arkadelphia Road.
Wade was in a ditch where the culvert was set to go when the large slab of asphalt broke loose and fell on top of him. Crews had to use a backhoe to lift the asphalt off Wade.
Wade was airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham.
Initially, it was believed Wade may have suffered a broken pelvis and internal injuries, Mayor David O’Mary said Saturday afternoon.
“He was in a lot of pain,” O’Mary said.
Fortunately, tests showed Wade suffered no broken bones or internal injuries and he was released from the hospital Saturday afternoon.
“There’s no better person than Billy Wade,” O’Mary said. “He’s going to be extremely sore for a while, but luckily he’s going to be OK and we’re so happy about that.”