This is a bricklayer's accident report, which was printed in the newsletter of the Australian equivalent of the Workers' Compensation Board. This is a true story.
Had this guy died, he'd have received an award for sure.......
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 500 lbs.
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 135 lbs.
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 legs.
I hope this answers your inquiry.