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This is a bricklayer's accident report,

which was printed in the newsletter of the Australian

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 that I had some bricks left over which, when

weighed later were found to be slightly in excess of 500lbs.

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


building on the sixth floor. Securing the rope at ground 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 bricks.

You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I weigh

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 explained

the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collar bone, 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 beginning to

experience pain.

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, that barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs. I

refer you again to my weight.

As you can imagine, I began a rapid descent, down the side of the

building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming


This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and several

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


I am sorry to report, however, 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


I hope this answers your inquiry.

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