A Support System Second to None

A Support System Second to None

December 14, 2022

Rory Shannon, member of Pile Drivers Local 1847 (St. Paul, MN), was injured during a tragic jobsite accident in July 2021. As a result of a hydraulic failure, a large mast of a drill rig came crashing down on his right foot. The traumatic injury resulted in a below-the-knee amputation he will live with for the rest of his life.

After meeting several pile drivers, Rory joined the Carpenters Union in 2017 when he moved to Minnesota. He was drawn to the good wages and benefits the union offers, but he quickly learned that his union membership had even more to offer. Rory gained a support system that is second to none.

"After my accident, I received a lot of support from the Carpenters Union, the members, my contractor, my direct superintendent, and people I've worked with on jobs. So many members offered to bring me groceries, give me rides to all my doctor's appointments and reassured me that I never had to worry about anything, because I would always be taken care of."

Rory has been with Veit & Company, Inc. since 2018 as a logistics coordinator for their foundation's division. When Rory was ready find a new career path, he worked closely with the Carpenters Union and his contractor. Everyone encouraged him to find a new position he would be happy pursing. Rory has now accepted a new position involving jobsite safety.

Rory was also provided training to develop the necessary skills for his new role. "I was interested in taking on a safety role after my accident. I talked with my business representative and pile driver training instructor, and they thought I would be a great fit. This is an opportunity for me to impact our members by sharing my personal experience."

Rory works closely with members on jobsites and training staff to emphasize and increase the importance of safety awareness. For example, he will be a part of a joint drilling class with the Operating Engineers this spring. "I will be helping with drilling classes this spring that will involve drilling for caissons (a watertight retaining structure), which is what I did when I worked in the field. I did a lot of large caissons, transmission lines, and substations. So, it will be a great opportunity to assist with training and demonstrate how to do things for others."

Moving ahead, Rory is humbled by the new opportunities his safety role brings. He looks forward to working more closely with members on the jobsite and in training. He hopes his personal experiences will have a strong impact on the lives of the members.  Rory adds, "I am thankful for the Carpenters Union and its members. It's a family that has supported me through a challenging time, ensuring I had all I needed to recover and return."