Just thought I would relate my latest accident. I was trying
to get some sheathing on the exterior of my current project
and built a home made scaffold support on the side of the
building. I only had a wall 16" long to nail the support to,
and the heighth was just over 16' off the ground. My 16' 2x4s
were about 8" too short to reach the support, so I decided to
just be careful and not put any legs under the support.
16'-8" later, I hit the ground. I landed in some bushes which
broke my fall, but it hurt anyway. Had to recover the
building with a huge tarp (threat of rain), then drive myself
to the emergency room. Got four stitches in my right knee and
alot of bruises and scrapes. The doctor and nurse were amazed
that I had no other injuries AND that I had driven myself to
I missed the rest of that day and the next, but was able to
work (albeit at a slower pace) the following day.
MORAL; Take the time to make sure the scaffolding is secure.
Alternate moral; I am getting too old for this.
A few years back a climber fell 500 feet. Luckily there were many bushs
along the way and she walked away from it, badly bruised, but no actual
injuries. Presumably her incredible physical condition helped some.
Not to take away from your miracle; to fall 16' and just have a cut is
I once fell about 10 feet through a barn floor onto a concrete pad. I
was helping some guys put up hay and wasn't paying attention to where I
was going; was talking to another guy and walked right into a hole in
the floor. Oops. Only injuries were a couple cracked ribs, and a
messed up wrist (which is probably what cracked the ribs when I fell on
it.) I consider myself pretty lucky.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
That reminds me of when I was a kid. I was about 6 or 7 and
loved Rocky the flying squirrel. I got up on my dads shop
(single story, thank god) with a bed sheet. Can you see
Tied a corner around each ankle then held the other two
corners in my hands and jumped. Did a belly buster onto the
grass and knocked the breath out of myself so bad I thought I
was going to die.
I've been think it was silly, the warning seen on a Superman costume:
"CAUTION; Cape does not enable wearer to fly."
But I guess not. :)
When I was in the fourth grade, the church between my house and the
school was building a concrete wall around its big hill, cutting out
some of the hill at the bottom and filling in the space at the top.
(and building a set of steps in the middle, so that people could walk
up the steps from the parking lot, instead of going way around or
sliding on the grass) About ten feet high. There was soft dug-up
dirt at the bottom, but if I jumped out too far, there was a curb and
the cinder parking lot. If it didn't jump out far enough, there were
6 inch pieces of rebar sticking out, that the stone facing was going
to be attached to. (I don't know why the bars were so long. Was
there stone facing that was that thick, or did they cut it off shorter
after putting on the stones? I wasn't there to watch the day they
added the facing.)
On my way home from school one nice spring day, one or two kids were
jumping off the wall. So I did too. I was the opposite of a reckless
kid, so I don't know why this especially. During the second try, my
brother was walking home from high school and he caught me, and told
me not to do it, and told my mother, who told me not to do it. This
was the only time in 5 years that my brother ever saw me at all on his
way home from HS.
The next morning on my way to school I jumped again, and missed the
curb and missed the cinders and missed the rebar, but broke my leg,
right at the ankle, because there was a stone or rock in the soft
dirt. I knew immediately that I'd broken it.
So I just sat there. One of my classmates came by, and he went to get
the school nurse, who wouldn't come to help me because it wasn't on
school property. This was 1956. !!
In the meantime someone told the church's minister who lived right on
the other side of the parking lot from the church. He picked me up
and took me to the hospital, where I was by chance referred to my
uncle's brother, unless may he was the only orthopedist at the
hospital (50,000 people in town. Only one hospital afaik).
My mother had gone to a doctor's appointment in the next town, 20
miles away, which was verrrry unusual since there were doctors in our
town, and going 20 miles away was considered a trip. This was the
ONLY day in my 12 years of public school that my mother was out of
town (except when my father was dying, and then my mother hired a
housekeeper for a week or two, while she was away) and even this day
she had hired a maid just so there would be someone at home. So when
my mother comes home from the doctor, she asks the maid, Where's mm?**
And the maid says to her. "Well... I don't know how to tell you this,
Mrs. mm"... Yeah, yeah, my mother says, and the maid managed to drag
out the news until my mother was frantic. Just tell her I have a
broken leg. The way she told it, my mother was afraid I was dead or
in a coma or paralysed.
**By some strange twist she called me by my email local part, even
when I was a child. mm was also her last name at the time.
So my mother gets back in the car to go to the hospital, and she's
zoming down Mercer St., the only street I ever saw repaved in the 10
years I lived in my home town. And as part of the concrete paving,
they left a big hole around the manhole, 3' x 3', with nothing in it
until they extended the manhole 4 to 6 inches higher to be even with
the new pavement. And in those days, they didn't put barricades
around holes in the road, because I'd walked by there a dozen times
and there never any cones or anything. On a normal day, my mother
wouldn't hit the hole, but this day she wasn't looking at every little
thing, and of course she did. We had a 4 door '52 Hudson with a
typical high roof, and no seatbelts of course in 1957, and she went up
so high she hit her head on the roof of the car. She must have been
at least a foot off the seat. (in those days the steering wheel
didn't keep one's thighs from going up either. Plenty of room in
Anyhow, my leg healed fine and everything is fine.
If you were really too old, your bones would have broken. You're just
getting too stupid. You might have been more cautious years ago, but
familiarity breeds contempt.
I agree. I know a guy in his 50's who just fell off the roof a story
and a half, just broke his leg but it won't heal. He had to plug
himself in whenever he was at home so some electric thing would
enoucrage it to knit, but after a couple months, not much progress.
Then one of us changed jobs so I don't know.
I hgree that being in good physical shape can help.
My brother and his wife were stopped at an intersection and hit by a
cement truck. Just like the expression. Except when working, my
brother is always in sort of a dreamy mood, not concentrating,
relaxed, and he wasn't hurt at all. His wife** otoh is very tense,
and she had internal bleeding for weeks, in her stomach or intestines,
had to stay in bed for days or more. The doctor would have given her a
transfusion but was afraid of AIDS in the blood (15 years ago.) She
**I don't know for sure that she is tense, but she's sure angry.
They're divorced now.
No, the moral is, just like confined space work, you never do high work
alone. Doesn't matter if they just sit in a lawn chair in the shade and read
a magazine or knit. You need somebody there to do CPR, call 911, etc.
When I was a young dumb kid, I had a few stupid falls like that, luckily all
on to freshly-worked dirt. Now that I don't heal up overnight like when I
was 18, I take a lot more time checking rigging and thinking about every
step before I make it.
Well, the client, his wife, and their two kids were there. He
was out working in the yard and heard me fall. So I wasn't
exactly alone. Plus, the electricians and plumbers were
there, so they could have helped had I needed it. Just wasn't
hurt too bad except for the cut.
Single and two story homes really don't seem high to me. I
have worked on industrial jobs and liked heights, so I always
got the high jobs cause everyone else hated it up there. 200
feet is starting to get high, but below that it is nothing to
me. I have walked steel, worked out of personnel baskets,
rigged on bosuns chairs and it never bothered me. I loved it
and still do.
That was one thing that I was worried about. That I would
develop a fear of heights, but I have been back up on this
building and I am just fine. More careful, but still fine.
So do I. I usually do in this case, but we have had a ton of
rain and more on the way. One carpenter out with a huge
abcess in his jaw, another out due to wife having a baby,
third one out due to a legal predicament and all the helpers
ride to work with the carpenters due to no transportation.
I was just trying to get the building dried in and thought I
would get back on my tools for a little bit. It usually feels
good to just work and not have to think. I should have done a
little more thinking about it!
Amen to that!
Certainly glad to hear you made it w/ no more than cut(s) and bruises,
Robert. Too valuable here to lose you! :)
Keep thinking _first_, a little water or other problem to take care of
later isn't nearly as difficult (nor expensive) as a few days or
months in intensive care... :(
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