Coldstream Concrete: Wife fears for family’s financial future after 23,000-kg culvert crushes husband’s limb

MIDDLESEX CENTRE-A London man pinned beneath a massive concrete block will have to have his arm amputated, leaving his family with an uncertain future, his wife says.

Ontario’s Labour Ministry is investigating the workplace incident at Coldstream Concrete that seriously injured a 38-year-old employee Wednesday.

The injured worker’s wife identified him as Geoffrey Morphew, a father of four and dedicated employee.

“It’s a devastating day for us,” Sarah Morphew said in a Facebook message toThe Free Press.

Describing her husband as an amazing man, she questions how the family will be able get by without her husband’s income.

“He will be devastated when he wakes up,” she wrote.

“I have no idea how we’ll manage without him working.”

A worker at Coldstream Concrete is overcome with emotion on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, following an industrial accident that seriously injured a 38-year-old employee at the Middlesex Centre operation. (DALE CARRUTHERS, The London Free Press)

Emergency crews were called to Coldstream Concrete, located at 402 Quaker Lane in Middlesex Centre, about 11a.m.

A man was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, Middlesex OPP said.

Established in 1945, Coldstream Concrete provides pre-cast concrete products for the construction and drainage industry, according to its website.

Known to his co-workers as Geo, Morphew was inspecting two box culverts — cement structures that allow water to flow under a road or bridge — when the crane holding one of the culverts failed, said a co-worker.

The culvert, weighing nearly 23,000 kilograms, crushed Morphew’s arm, the co-worker said.

“It could have happened to any of us,” the man said, adding more than a dozen employees walked off the job after the incident.

“We’re really shook up over it,” he said.

The Labour Ministry was notified and sent an investigator to the scene, a spokesperson said.

“It was reported that a concrete culvert was being moved when it fell and injured the worker,” spokesperson Benjamin Lim wrote in an email.

“Our investigation is ongoing.”

It was an emotional scene outside the work site after Morphew was taken to hospital by ambulance.

A woman who drove up to the concrete yard in a grey car around 11:45a.m. was greeted by a visibly distraught worker.

“What happened?” the woman asked the man, who was wearing work boots, shorts and a tank top.

The man, with two OPP officers nearby, became overwhelmed by emotion and doubled over.

The woman comforted him before the pair walked to the office with police and company officials. The two were seen driving away about 20 minutes later.

Coldstream Concrete president Bob Brown said his company will conduct its own investigation in conjunction with the ministry.

Read more London news here.

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