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Injured worker talks about workplace safety in North Carolina

A work accident is traumatic not only for the injured worker, but also for their family members who see their pain and suffering. Burn injuries are not only physically painful, but the scars they leave may constantly remind the victim of the workplace injury they sustained.

Some accident victims take their experience and their memories and turn it into something productive, such as a motivational speaker speaking in North Carolina this month. Having spent seven years in the Marine Corps and ending active service as a sergeant, he was working on a telephone pole upon returning to the country when severe burn injuries caused the amputation of his hands.

Speaking to a group of civilian and military professionals, he told them about the impact of his accident on his family. He also told them he didn't want to see them get a preventable injury after returning safely from dangerous conditions abroad.

One of the audience members volunteered to help simulate paralysis, and was taped to a wheelchair. After experiencing it for a short period of time, the audience member claimed he would remember it because he did not want it to become permanent.

According to the injured worker, his accident had been preventable, but he did something reckless and was paying the price for it. In order to make workplaces accident free, he claimed a high level of commitment was needed. He encouraged workers to make safety the most important part of their life.

Though his accident was preventable, not every accident can be prevented by the worker and requires employers to enact workplace safety policies. No matter what the situation, an injured worker may be able to file a workers' compensation claim to recover costs for their medical bills and lost wage replacement. Retaining a healthy view of life and using their experience to teach others is also one way North Carolina workers can use their injury to help others.

Source: DVIDS, "World-renowned motivational speaker, double amputee drives home safety aboard Cherry Point," Cpl. Santiago G. Colon, Jr., Sept. 11, 2012

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