I was reading “Safety tip # 97, never wear flip-flops” and it got me thinking about a safety related experience I had a while back. It didn’t happen in the work shop, but I think it’s still worth telling.
I was doing some re-bricking at the top of my chimney and rigged up a rope, bucket and pulley system to get the bricks to the peak of the roof & the top part of my chimney. I would put the bricks in the bucket and hoist them up to the top and then tie off the rope and go up & unload the bricks to the roof.
When I was finished with the project, I filled the bucket with the unused bricks…and rather than do 2 loads, I thought I’d save time by getting all the bricks heaped into one bucket load. (smart, eh?) I then went down the ladder and prepared to untie the rope and ease the bucket down.
Because I’m a “safety first” kind of guy, I didn’t want the rope to slip through my hand, as the bucket was overloaded, so I (cleverly) wound it around my wrist a couple of times. When I untied the rope to lower the bucket, I realized I had grossly underestimated the weight of the now overloaded bucket. (Who’d have thought?)
The bucket, now heavier than me, began a rapid descent towards the ground (and me) at the precise time that I began a rapid ascent towards the roof peak (and the bucket) At the half way point in our respective journeys, the bottom of the bucket made contact with the top of my head (ouch), and after a brief pause, we both continued on in our previous directions.
Reaching the terminus (don’t you just love words like that?) of my upward trip, (gives the term “rising to the top” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?) I jammed my rope-wrapped hand into the pulley at the peak of the roof, (ouch, again) at precisely the same time that the bucket hit the ground, knocking out all of the bricks.
I now became considerably heavier than the empty bucket, and, the laws of physics being what they are, I began a rapid descent just as the bucket began a rapid ascent. (you remember…”for each action there’s an equal and opposite reaction”) Speaking of laws, I’m sure “Murphy’s Law” has a place somewhere in this tale.
Anyway, at the halfway point, we met again…the bucket hitting me square in the __ (knowing which direction it was coming from, you can fill in the rest). (OUCH, OUCH) We then continued on to our respective ending points.
At the same time that the bucket hit the pulley at the top, I hit the ground (ouch, one more time) which caused me to let go of the rope. (not my best move of the day) The bucket, now heavier that the rope, began a downward plummet making contact with the top of my head yet again. (ouch…is there no end to all this???)
And the moral to this story is: If someone tells you that you’re a few bricks short of a full load, it may just be a good thing, after all.
There, that’s my Sunday afternoon story, and I’m stickin’ to it. -SST
-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you