Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bricklayer's Accident

I know we've seen it before but................

Possibly the funniest story in a long while. This is
a bricklayer's accident report, which was printed
in the newsletter of Workers' Compensation board.
This is a true story.

Had this guy died, he'd have received a Darwin
Award for sure.......

Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to your request for additional
information in Block 3 of the accident report form.
I put " poor planning " as the cause of my accident.
You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the
following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident,
I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building.
When I completed my work, I found that I had some bricks
left over which, when weighed later were found to be slightly
in excess of 500lbs.

Rather than carry the bricks down by hand I decided to
lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which was attached
to the side of the building on the sixth floor. Securing
the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof,
swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it.

Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly
to ensure a slow descent of the bricks.

You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that
I weigh 135lbs.

Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly,
I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope.
Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of
the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met
the barrel, which was now proceeding downward at an equally
impressive speed. This explained the fractured skull, minor
abrasions and the broken collar bone, as listed in section 3
of the accident report form.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not
stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two
knuckles deep into the pulley.

Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind
and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of
beginning to experience pain.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks
hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now
devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel weighed
approximately 50 lbs.

I refer you again to my weight. As you can imagine, I began a
rapid descent, down the side of the building. In the vicinity
of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts
for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and several
lacerations of my legs and lower body.

Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with
the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries
when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three
vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, as I
lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move, I
again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of
the rope and I lay there watching the empty barrel begin
its journey back down onto me. This explains the two broken

I hope this answers your inquiry.

Since writing this I have seen a Mythbusters episode that attempts to emulate this "accident". It took a great deal of effort and manipulation to get all of the elements of the incident to happen. In particular, it was very difficult to get the barrel to break even after significantly weakening it.

No comments: