updated Sept. 30, 2011, 7:27 a.m.
ST. GEORGE – Joshua St. John, an employee of St. George Steel, was injured in a crane accident on Tuesday around 10:30 a.m. and remains hospitalized.
Norbert Kretschmer, Human Resources Safety Director for Express Metals Fabricators, St. George Division, (which carries on the St. George Steel name since its acquisition in 2005), said the cause of the accident is under investigation. St. George Steel is located at 1300 East 700 North in St. George.
“Basically, the gentleman was working on a crane and we don’t know exactly what happened,” Kretschmer said. “That’s why we’re still investigating. In the long run, the crane hit him and he fell, at which time 911 was called and he was taken to the local hospital.”
St. George Police Department dispatch said that they dispatched Dixie Ambulance to the scene when they received the call. “It was an injury that didn’t require a police response,” the dispatcher said.
Kretschmer said the incident has been reported to the State of Utah’s workers compensation fund, and an investigation is ongoing.
William Adams of the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division said that OSHA has received no report of the incident.
Kretschmer explained that it is not an incident that would be immediately OSHA reportable because it does not meet the criteria for such reports. He said incidents reportable within 24 to 48 hours include fatal accidents or those resulting in multiple hospitalizations from a single accident (the example he gave is that of a scaffolding falling with several persons injured). He said that OSHA would receive report in the course of regular reporting.
“We are vigorously at it,” said Kretschmer, “interviewing witnesses, taking statements, inspecting equipment … investigating.”
While Kretschmer confirmed that St. John is still in the hospital, he declined to give any specific details while the investigation is ongoing.
Kretschmer said that he does not know the specifics of a donation fund set up for St. John’s family, but that he has heard that the elementary school where the employee’s child goes in Ivins is setting up a raffle in support of the family’s needs.
According to a Facebook update from a member of St. John’s church, his condition is improving, but still critical. The post stated:
“Josh St. John was injured due to an equipment malfunction at work yesterday morning that caused him to fall 20-30 feet. He sustained a number of injuries, the most serious of which were internal. He is currently in the hospital with his family, but cannot have other visitors yet. Doctors are actively working to stabilize his internal injuries, and he is showing improvement today on a number of levels. Miraculously, the CT scans did not indicate any head or spinal injuries. The family is very grateful for all the well-wishes and prayers, as well as the privacy they have been afforded during this time.
“I also know that, as of yesterday afternoon, he’s slightly improved but he’s still in critical but stable condition.
“I hope this information is useful. I’ll keep you updated on his progress.”
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