Silly Man, Ladders Are for getting Down From High Places


Accident in alaska

While working as a carpenter in alaska I took a job, out of the union hall, on the new sewerage treatment plant.  It was the second or third season on construction and I was working on the roof. I don’t remember exactly what I was doing but it involved carrying large sections of forms. I was on the leading end walking backwards with my partner on the other end. Unfortunately there was a large opening in the roof which had been covered, but other workers and uncovered it to do some work, but did not put up a safety rail. Also unfortunately my partner was not watching where I was going and neither was I and I backed into the hole. The roof was about 18 feet high and inside the building directly below the hole was a large pipe about 20 inches in diameter with a large valve stem sticking straight up and about 2 feet from the valve was another fitting that would have been equally unpleasant to land on. Fortunately for me I landed on the 2 foot section of pipe between the 2 fittings. I landed on my side right below my ribs. The pipe was above the ground a foot or 2 so that neither my feet or my head hit anything. The force was absorbed by a sideways flexing of my body that at the time didn’t seem to have injured me. I stood up and walked off the job. The foreman wanted me to go to the doctor to make sure I didn’t have a serious injury which I agreed with because I was definitely shook up. I was x-rayed and the doctor found nothing. I felt fine and thought I could return to work, but he said no, the fall had caused thousands of small hemerages in all my muscles. In effect I was bruised all over in stead of one place. He went on to say: “Tomorrow you won’t be able to move and for several days you will be in bed.” True to his word I lay on my back looking at the ceiling. Any movement at all hurt. It took a week before I began to move around, painfully. As it turned out if I had to fall, other than a trampoline to catch me, I had the best outcome of all the nasty options that were available in the environment.  The accident messed up a great scout trip I was planning to participate in, a canoe trip down the Yukon River from Chilkoot Pass to Dawsen Creek in Canada. The trail of the Yukon Gold rush of the early 1900s. Other leaders stepped in to make sure the boys had the experience but I never got the chance to do it.
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