An Ohio worker is recovering from an industrial accident that resulted in a terrifying injury. 25-year-old Monica Thayer was hospitalized for nearly a month after he scalp was torn off her head while she was cleaning a machine that cuts steel tubing. The incident occurred at JR Engineering, a manufacturer of industrial components for companies like Ford, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government.
Thayer was in the Barberton, OH factory cleaning out the cutting machine when her long hair, which was pulled back in a ponytail, was caught by the parts, pulling her face-first into the device. As Thayer recalls, “My biggest fear was that I would be moments away from getting rescued, and then it would start-up and kill me,” she said. “The next thing I realized, it had sucked me up and pulled me behind the bar that started to spin as I was cleaning the machine out, and up against the cutter.”
See Video of Thayer’s recovery and accident account.
A co-worker shut down the machine by punching the safety stop button. Medical and Fire crews worked frantically for nearly half and hour to pull her back out of the machine.
Thayer lost her eyebrows, hair and her entire scalp in the accident.
After doctors saved her life by working non-stop for eight hours to stop the bleeding, Thayer had to undergo three skin graft surgeries to attach skin from her legs, hips and back to hear head. Unfortunately, according to her doctors, Thayer’s hair will not grow back. The brave Ohio worker says that she can deal with that.
“I’m okay with it right now. I am fearful of when I take the bandages off, how I’m going to react to seeing the grafts for the first time,” she said. “I’m comfortable with the fact that I’m going to have to buy wigs for the rest of my life and that kind of thing, because you can buy wigs. You can’t buy a life.”
Thayer says she’s just glad to be alive today, although she would like the manufacturer to make safety improvements on the machine. OSHA inspectors are still working to determine if the accident was caused by faulty safety precautions in the factory or a machine defect. If the latter is the case, Thayer will be able to bring a third party injury claim against the manufacturer for a faulty product.
Each year, tens of thousands of American workers are injured or killed in workplace accidents. Workers who are injured on the job can trust the Seattle employment lawyers of Emery Reddy to protect their rights and help them process their L&I or Workers’ Compensation claim. Washington residents may also need help with a denied L&I claim or an Independent Medical Examination. Whatever your nature of your injury or occupation, the attorneys of Emery Reddy are here to help. Contact our L&I consultants today.