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Abandoned well causes landscaper's temporary disability

When a California landscaper recently disappeared from where he was doing landscaping, others thought he was napping -- it was in the early afternoon. However, some became aware of his calls for help later and discovered that he had tumbled down a well the existence of which was unknown. Rescuers from Santa Barbara County Fire Department rushed to the scene shortly after 3 p.m. to rescue the man, who is happy to be alive, although he has to deal with a temporary disability due to a fractured leg.

Even the residents who had been renting the property for 15 years did not know about the well. Firefighters arrived to find that a temporary concrete covering the abandoned well had collapsed, leading to the landscaper's 60-foot fall. They sent a rescue worker down to assess the situation. He could communicate in Spanish with the victim. Reportedly, he was up to his chest in water when the rescuer reached him.

The process of hoisting the injured man up to ground level took about 90 minutes. Paramedics say he was alert when he reached safety. However, it appeared he had broken his leg in the fall and suffered a great deal of pain. The fire department noted its intention to inform the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the incident.

Any California workers who suffer on-the-job injuries that cause temporary disability, such as a broken leg, may be concerned about losing wages. However, they will be entitled to pursue claims for benefits that will provide a percentage of their average weekly wages along with coverage of medical expenses. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist with the claims process, and might even help to arrange for an injured victim's return to work in a position that would accommodate his or her disability. A temporary clerical job, for instance, could allow the worker to continue earning an income while recovering.

Source: keyt.com, "Firefighters rescue gardener from an abandoned water well in Santa Barbara's Mission Canyon area", Ryder Christ, April 4, 2018

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