Worker killed in well accident

A worker is dead tonight after a well accident that happened on the Connecticut-Massachusetts border.

The Somers Fire Department said the accident happened around 1:30 p.m.

The man killed was drilling a well near a swimming pool in Hampden, Massachusetts when he fell in.

The area where the worker was collapsed underneath him, turning the ground into a pool of mud and water. A co-worker tried to pull the man out, but both sunk further in. When the co-worker went back to try again, the man had disappeared beneath.

“When the hole originally collapsed he reached in to grab his partner and lost grip,” said Somers Fire Department Deputy Chief Frank Falcone. “And then got a winch and passed a cable into the hole, which at one point the victim had a hold of. And he was trying to pull him out with a winch and at that point lost him again, just like quick sand it kept pulling him under and it was collapsing while he was there.”

Firefighters tied themselves off trying to find the man beneath the mud, water and sand, while the State Police Dive Team were on standby.

However, a drilling rig which sat on the edge of the hole, weighing approximately 60,000 lbs. and standing about 30 feet tall, made the task even more dangerous.

“Approximately a half an hour ago it shifted again and the rig moved five feet and the wheels sunk into the mud,” said Falcone. “It’s dangerous and precarious right now.”

At this time the investigation is in the process of being handed over to Massachusetts State Police and the body has been turned over to Massachusetts Medical Examiner’s Office.

The mans name has not been released, but his family has been notified and his son did visit to the site of the accident.

After the rig is removed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will inspect the site to determine what went wrong.


Nursing Home Negligence

Falls in Nursing Homes

Litigators who work with cases involving long term care know how significant the issue of falls can be. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death by injury in adults over 65. Approximately half of the 1.6 million nursing home residents in the U.S. fall each year, and a report by the Office of the Inspector General found that about 10% of Medicare skilled nursing residents experience a fall resulting in significant injury; and, more than 1/3 of hospital falls result in injury. In the rehab setting, rates are often higher – for example, fall rates among stroke patients have been shown to be very high. Immobility and falls can lead to poor outcomes.

Fear of falling is defined as a geriatric syndrome. It not only occurs in older adults who have fallen, but in those with impaired mobility and is associated with decreased physical ability and depression. Care of older adults requires that clinicians be aware of the myriad of issues related to falls including knowledge of this syndrome, increased risk and interventions needed to prevent injury related to falls.

Just about every resident in a long term care setting, including assisted living and sub-acute rehab, is at risk for falling. Between medications, functional and medical issues and advancing age, older adults in most settings are prone to falling.

There are well established standards of care related to fall prevention; but, as I continue to review records related to issues like falls, I am amazed at how often these basic standards are not being practiced. The basics of a fall prevention program include assessment and ongoing reassessment of risk, ensuring a safe environment, medication review, providing therapy as needed, individualized interventions, and staff education.

Basic nursing practice includes assessment, planning (Care plan), putting interventions in place and then evaluating outcomes to determine if those interventions are appropriate and effective. Assessment includes completing fall risk assessments on admission and then as needed. Very often, the fall risk assessments completed by nurses in LTC are inaccurate. The tools utilized in long term care typically include these risk factors: history of falling, use of ambulatory aids, gait/balance issues, medications, secondary diagnoses (i.e. diabetes) and mental status. Care planning is the next step in nursing care - it is the standard of care that as the resident’s status changes, assessments and care plans must be updated, and often, are not. For example, with each fall, there should be updates, or if there is a new diagnosis, i.e. stroke, or worsening dementia, updated interventions should be put into place, with ongoing evaluation of effectiveness.

Care planning and interventions very often are generic and not individualized. For example, a toileting schedule that includes only after meals and before bedtime may not be appropriate. If a resident has issues with constipation or incontinence, this may lead to the need for more frequent toileting to prevent falls. The “make certain call bell is within reach” for residents with dementia is an example of a generic intervention. Older adults with dementia may not recognize a call bell or remember to use it. The debate about use of bed and chair alarms go on – they are a part of an individualized care plan, not a solution to preventing falls. Often, I see delays in putting interventions in place, i.e. with the resident who is incontinent NOT being put on a toileting plan immediately. The other common issue I see when reviewing records is the lack of updating care plans as the resident’s status changes – with every fall, with worsening dementia, physical decline, or new medical diagnosis (i.e. Parkinsonism).

Nurses reviewing records need to pay attention to the MDS, risk assessments, care plans and Interdisciplinary notes with attention to where the standard of care is not being met.
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7 days ago  ·  

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