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Worker tripped, suffering fatal head injuries

Date of incident: August 2013
Notice of incident number: 2013140970311
Employer: Motel

Incident summary
A motel employee, assisted by the on-site motel operator, was preparing to jump-start her personal vehicle after her work shift ended. The worker tripped backwards over a power-pole guy-wire anchor and struck her head on the ground. The worker suffered serious injuries in the incident and later succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

Investigation conclusions

  • Worker fell and struck her head: The worker was standing on uneven ground while untangling booster cables to boost the battery in her vehicle. She tripped backwards over a mound of dirt at the base of power-pole guy wires and struck her head. It is not known what caused the worker to fall.
Underlying factors
  • Delay in receiving medical treatment: Although the worker said that she was okay after the fall and was not displaying outward signs of a serious injury, the motel operator did not initially insist that the worker go to hospital for medical treatment. The motel operator did not recognize that the worker's headache pain was the sign of a serious head injury. The worker declined medical treatment several times over a three-and-a-half-hour period, thereby delaying the hospital treatment she eventually received. She later succumbed to her injuries.

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Publication Date: Aug 2013 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2013140970311