WSIB Redesign for ywap.ca
Storyboard and Script
Illustrations: Bojan Redzic
Text: John Schofield
ERIC OLIVIERI’S STORY
My supervisor told me to work with this guy on a machine, but I ended up having to wait around. I didn’t want to get in trouble because the boss was walking around, so I ended up grabbing a broom and sweeping the floor. A guy called me over, and he was moving this 10-ton door. He goes, ‘Could you help me?’ and I go, ‘Sure.’ He wanted me to help guide it down. I felt kind of uneasy going over there because he was stacking them up vertically instead of horizontally. But I put my broom down and got in between this little space.
The guy fired up the crane before I could get out. One hook caught the door and it tipped on to me. I told him not to fire it up before I was out, and he didn’t hear me or he just said, ‘Screw it, nothing’s going to happen.’ Something did happen. First it caught my left arm and shattered my humerus. There was nothing left in my arm but muscle. That wasn’t too fun. It sprayed all over me.
Then when I jumped back, it caught my legs and it broke my right femur and it shattered my knee completely. I was pinned up to my waist. And then I was just kind of lying there, waiting. And I kind of felt my arm and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ And then I reached down to feel my leg, and I felt the bone sticking out, and I was like, ‘Holy crap.’ I knew I was in pretty bad shape.
I’ve seen some terrible things, but it was horrible to see Eric in so much pain, trapped under 10 tons of steel. When we found out he was only 16, it hit us pretty hard. We moved as fast as we could, but it was hard to get the door off him. He lost so much blood and went into stage 3 shock. For a while there, we weren’t sure he would make it.
They handed me over to the doctors and they kind of fixed everything up nice and neatly. They put a brace over my left leg where the knee was shattered and I ended up developing compartment syndrome in that leg, where they had to operate as soon as possible. Three or six hours, I’m not sure.