As both we and other Arizonans involved in the workers’ compensation know, a lot of times a work accident can leave an employee and family feeling bitter and hopeless; however, one man employed by a local government instead chose a different emotional path. Perhaps because of this and the support of his family, he returned to his old job supervising others and handling equipment at a sanitation department months ahead of schedule. He lost a part of his leg in the accident, and he now uses an artificial prosthesis to get around at his job.
The man and another employee riding with him were trying to pick up commercial waste bins. At one point, the man asked his co-worker to stop the truck and wait because he needed to get out of the vehicle and ask another driver blocking the bin to move. However, his co-worker rolled the truck over his leg. The man holds no bitterness against his fellow employee, claiming that he had seen similar truck driving accidents take place during his tenure on the job.
Since his return following the accident, the man has had the opportunity to train his co-worker who crushed his leg, and he seems to have done so gladly. Whether negligent operation of machinery contributed to the amputation of part of his leg seems to make little difference to him, as he claims not to have paid much thought to a lawsuit or to getting even. His main goal, even from his hospital bed, was just to get back to work.
While certainly one can and should have a positive and forgiving spirit following an accident on the job, a good attitude does not mean that there will not be bills for that worker to pay and a family for that worker to support during his or her recovery time. At least in Arizona, the state’s no-fault workers’ compensation system is designed to get money to an employee and his or her family efficiently and fairly. After all, having what one needs goes a long way in maintaining a positive outlook on life.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Clearwater city employee who lost leg in accident returns to job ahead of schedule,” Theodora Aggeles, Nov. 22, 2012