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Severe spinal cord injury

Nick Perry urges workers young and old to stand up to their employers on matters of workplace safety. Perry, now 31, almost lost his life in an accident at a Victoria lumberyard on Nov. 3, 2001.

At the time of his accident, Perry had been on the job for just six months.

He worked in the yard as a forklift operator. Unofficially, Perry kept an eye out for safety issues, and that's how he saw the loosely stacked sheets of MDF - medium-density fibreboard - precariously stored three metres above the ground.

It was a Saturday and Perry was on overtime, having already put in a week's work. Despite being tired, he got a forklift and picked up 10 sheets of the slippery material. Then the forklift hit uneven ground and the load shifted.

He left the forklift to go for help, but the most experienced employee was busy at the cash register and the next in line was also tied up. So Perry turned to his friend who, like himself, had limited experience.

"We looked at the situation and looked at each other," Perry said. "We knew we had to get this stuff on the ground. He hopped on the forklift and I put my back to the forklift and was standing to the left-hand side of the forks." Perry stepped away and signaled to his friend to lower the load. Five of the 10 sheets slid off the forklift and hit Perry in the back. He pushed them off and moved a step forward only to get hit by the rest of the load. He was left with a severed spinal cord, crushed vertebrae and paralyzed legs.

He was flown to Vancouver General Hospital where he was in surgery for 13 hours. Doctors told him he'd never walk again.

Perry went through three years of rigorous rehabilitation and defied the doctors' predictions by getting back on his feet.

Prevention is always ideal but in a blink of an eye getting injured at the workplace happens, having an attorney is key to helping you get your life back after a severe injury such as this one, contact the attorneys at Peach & Weathers we will help defend your rights

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