IJMC A Bad Day For Bricklaying

		     IJMC - A Bad Day For Bricklaying

I simply have to feel sorry for this poor man. I am glad I deal with a 
"safer" career of computers...enjoy!				 -dave

Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to your request for additional information in
Block #3 of the accident reporting form.  I put "Poor Planning" as the
cause of my accident.  You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the
following details will suffice.

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 I had some bricks left over which -- when weighed later -- were found
to weigh 240 pounds.  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 at 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 insure a slow descent of the 240 lbs.  of bricks.

You will note on the accident reporting form that my weight is 150 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 ( by my best recollection), I met the
barrel -- which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed.
This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken
collarbone, as listed in Section 3 of the accident reporting 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 (see
paragraph 2 of this correspondence).  Fortunately by this time I had
regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope,
despite the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks struck the
ground with considerable force with the consequence that the bottom fell
out of the barrel.  Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel
weighed approximately 50 lbs.

I refer again to my weight (see paragraph 4 of this correspondence).

As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the
building.  In the vicinity of the third floor (again, by my best
recollection), I met what remained of the barrel coming up.  This accounts
for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and severe lacerations of my
legs and lower body.

Here my luck began to change, if ever so slightly.  For the encounter with
the remains of the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I
fell into the pile of bricks deposited when the bottom of the barrel fell
out, so only three vertebrae were cracked.

As I lay on the pile of bricks in some pain and unable to move and looking
up at the remains of the barrel, however, I again lost my composure and
presence of mind and let go of the rope, which accounts for the remaining
injuries noted in the accident reporting form.

I am sorry to be so brief, but it is still quite painful to sit for any
length of time and still difficult to hold a pencil.


[Name Withheld by Request]

IJMC June 1995 Archives