July 23, 2014

Elyria
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Welder injured at LaGrange factory

LAGRANGE – A welder’s leg was injured Friday morning when a 2,300-pound metal frame fell on it at a Commerce Drive metal fabricating firm.

The 53-year-old man, whose name was not available, was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland following the accident that occurred about 10:15 a.m. at Mader Dampers.

He was working with a group to assemble a damper frame, and the heavy frame fell on his left leg, according to a company spokesman, who wouldn’t provide his name.

The man was said to be conscious and alert following the accident, according to LaGrange Assistant Fire Chief Dan Jackson, who did not have the man’s name or other details of the incident late Friday afternoon.

The company, which is about a half-mile south of the village square off state Route 301, manufactures commercial dampers that control air flow in smokestacks of power plants, according to a company source.

The company source said reports that he received after the man was hospitalized indicated his injuries weren’t as serious as his co-workers first feared.

“I talked to his son a little while ago and he said that on a scale of one to 10, his dad’s injuries looked to be a two,” the man said. “Given all the units that responded and all the activity going on this morning, it looked a lot worse.”

Ambulances and fire trucks from LaGrange and LaGrange Township responded.

After a Metro LifeFlight crew brought the man from the plant and loaded him onto a hospital helicopter for the trip to Cleveland, Jackson said the worker’s leg appeared to be “torn up pretty good.”

“It looked a lot worse than it apparently is,” the company official said. “He broke his leg and he’s hospitalized, but his son said he’ll have surgery to set it and have a pin put in it. You wouldn’t have thought that if you’d first seen it. He lucked out.”

MetroHealth Medical Center spokeswoman Julie Short was unable to provide the man’s condition without his name.

An official with the Toledo office of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said OSHA regulations do not require employers to report accidents that do not result in a fatality or the overnight hospitalization of three or more employees.

“This is different than recording accidents in a company’s own illness and injury logs,” OSHA Assistant Area Director Scott Feil said.

Feil said most employers whose businesses have more than 10 employees keep their own safety and health records.

“Criteria differ depending on the number of workers,” he said.

In business since 2000, Mader Dampers employs an estimated 20 to 49 workers and has annual estimated sales worldwide of $5 million to $10 million, according to a business Web site.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.