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 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 weigh 240 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 at the sixth
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 240 pounds of bricks.
You will note on the accident reporting form that my weight is 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 explains
the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collarbone, as listed in Section 3,
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 which I mentioned in 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, 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-and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of
the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs.
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, as I lay
there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move and watching the empty barrel six
stories above me, 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 onto me.