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         This is a bricklayer's accident report, which was printed in the
newsletter of the British equivalent of the 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 I had  some bricks left over, which,
when weighed later were found to be slightly in  excess of 500 lb..
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

        You will note in Block  11 of the accident report form that I
weigh 135 lb.. 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
explains the  fractured skull, minor abrasions the broken collarbone, 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 the excruciating
pain I was now beginning to experience.

         At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks
hit the ground, the bottom fell  out of the barrel and the bricks dumped out.
Now devoid of the weight of the  bricks, that barrel weighed only
approximately 50 lb.. I refer you again to my  weight. As you might
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 severe 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, that 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.


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