Construction worker injured at site of new library


The fire department, EMS, and construction crew watch as emergency personnel prepare to slide a stretcher down at ladder after a worker was injured on the job Friday afternoon.

It took over an hour for the Travis County Emergency Medical Service and the fire department to lower an injured worker from scaffolding following an accident at the construction site of the new Munday Library at St. Edward’s University.

The first ambulance arrived on the scene at 2:02 p.m. and the injured 26-year-old male, who was not named, was taken to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center at about 3:12 p.m., Travis County Emergency Medical Service spokesperson Warren Hassinger said.

“It was nothing major, a minor laceration,” said Mike Smith with VKW Construction Co., the contracting company for the project.

The man sustained a two-inch laceration on his leg and the cause was an angle grinder, Hassinger said.

Witnesses said the construction crew appeared to be exploring several different methods for lowering the man down from the scaffolding, such as using a crane and a forklift, before the paramedics arrived on campus.

“I think they were just trying to figure out how to get him down but they didn’t do anything unsafe,” sophomore Michael Haywood said.

Two fire trucks and another EMS ambulance arrived at 2:17 p.m. Emergency personnel then used three ladders to lower the man to the ground, one as a slide for the stretcher and one on each side for people to stabilize the stretcher. 

“Since he was on the scaffolding, he couldn’t walk down. They were practicing doing things in a safe way because it wasn’t life threatening,” Smith said.

Construction continued on the adjacent structure throughout the process of lowering the injured man down from the building.

Additional reporting by Brooke Blanton.