Teen survives 30 foot fall at summer job, uses accident to promote work place safety

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – A Highlands Ranch teen fell 30 feet from his high school’s roof onto the concrete below at his summer job, and is now using the accident to promote safety in the workplace.

Sampson Briggs is now a sophomore at CSU studying business marketing and enjoying time with his fraternity brothers, a reality his doctors never thought possible two years ago.

It was three days into his summer job when Briggs fell from the roof of his school onto the concrete below. At the time, Briggs was on the brink of death. Briggs said doctors had alerted the organ bank to be on stand by to harvest Brigg’s organs. His family prepared to say goodbye.

“[Doctors] told my parents, it may be time to say goodbye to your son,” said Briggs. “They told my family they didn’t know if I would be able to read, walk, talk, write, let alone live.”

During the first few days in the ICU, his family didn’t leave his side, unsure if he’d be alive when they got back.

“I thought I would live to be 85 and I almost died when I was 18 years old. Now I cherish every day of life I get, especially with my family,” said Briggs.

Briggs said all this could have easily been prevented, had his boss given him a harness while working on the roof.

“I know my accident was easily preventable. If my boss had given me a harness, showed them how to use it, it would have taken two minutes and my life would be so much different today,” said Briggs.

It’s taken almost a dozen surgeries, metal plates and screws in his face and months of therapy to get him to the place he’s at now. He’s sharing his fall and the road to recovery in workplaces around Colorado and the U.S., hoping it prevents others from skimping on work place safety.

“My goal is to just have people realize this stuff does happen and they can’t be lazy on the job site. How important safety really is,” said Briggs.

According to statistics, on average 112 people die in Colorado each year in work-related deaths.

“If you think about being lazy or think about not putting on a harness because it’s a pain, or it’s heavy, think about your kids or your wife or your husband, your dogs or whatever you have at home. I think it’s important that that’s a priority. That’s the reason you wear safety equipment,” said Briggs.

For tips on work place safety and how to report an injury at work, click here.

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