LETTER TO OSHA
I am writing in response to your request for additional information.
In block number three of the accident reporting form I put "trying to
do the job alone" as the cause of my accident. You said in your
letter that I should explain more fully, 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 discovered that I had about five hundred pounds of
brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I
decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which fortunately was
attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.
Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel
out, and loaded the brick into it. Then I went back to the ground
level and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of
the five hundred pounds of brick. You will note in block eleven of
the accident reporting form that I weigh 135 pounds.
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 rather rapid rate up the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down.
This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone.
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 my pain.
At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit
the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the
weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately fifty pounds.
I refer you again to my weight in block eleven. 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 and the lacerations of my legs and
The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when
I fell onto the pile of bricks and, fortunately, only three vertebrae were
I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks - in
pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel six stories above me
- I again lost my presence of mind. I let go of the rope.