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There is no number 63
June 19, 2011 7:45 AM   Subscribe

OSHA's 1984 Fatal Facts report comes illustrated with surprisingly sangfroid cartoons of workplace accidents.
posted by The Whelk (99 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
My favorite
posted by The Whelk at 7:49 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


BOOM!!!!
posted by Thorzdad at 7:52 AM on June 19, 2011


Competent safety monitor on site: Yes - victim
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:53 AM on June 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Crickey!
posted by Flashman at 7:56 AM on June 19, 2011


Wow. These remind me of illustrations for those sci-fi stories where someone asphyxiates in space or dies in some other horrifying alien way. A chilling way to start my morning.
posted by Secretariat at 7:57 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Employees must be instructed in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions
posted by Harry at 8:01 AM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hmm...this calls out for a New Yorker-style caption contest.
posted by jedicus at 8:01 AM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


No. 63 There is No Number 63

Okay, okay! Take it easy.
posted by goethean at 8:03 AM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


At least one person had way too much fun compiling this.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:05 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I probably shouldn't have looked at those considering I'm alone at work (and I drive forklifts).
posted by sperose at 8:05 AM on June 19, 2011


Great site! I'm not sure where I found it (perhaps on MeFi but not an FPP) but it is great for examples of what not to do and I occasionally refer others to it as here.
posted by TedW at 8:06 AM on June 19, 2011


"Yo, that shoot nails, be cool!"

~Snoop Pearson
posted by bwg at 8:08 AM on June 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, it has been a front page link before, but in case you missed it, the Naval Safety Center has photographs that could easily have been taken immediately before the events described by OSHA took place.
posted by TedW at 8:09 AM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hmm...this calls out for a New Yorker-style caption contest.

My immediate reaction to the illustrations was "you know, I should grab a Far Side anthology, snag this images, match up captions, and start a tumblr..."
posted by cortex at 8:32 AM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Hey! What have you got there? You were not wearing your helmet, eh?" - "No, no, it's just a nosebleed!" - "BETWEEN YOUR EYES??"
posted by yoHighness at 8:36 AM on June 19, 2011


Now why you got to go starting that tractor when I'm reclining in the shade of its man-crushing wheels?
posted by Beardman at 8:40 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why was the company vice president fixing the backhoe's brakes?
posted by maryr at 8:40 AM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ on a Stick. I knew there was a reason why I wanted to grow up to have a desk job. Actually doing stuff is dangerous.

I mean, sure, the New York Times says that sitting is killing me, but at least it's doing it slowly.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:48 AM on June 19, 2011 [16 favorites]


...and I drive forklifts...
posted by sperose at 8:05 AM on June 19 [+] [!]


Hopefully, not while posting to mefi.
posted by fartknocker at 8:53 AM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of the boss I had who told eighteen-year-old me to set up a 25-foot ladder on a steep hillside to hand Tibetan prayer flags from his building. He then had me haul junk to the dump in his 18-passenger van, which turned out to only have brakes on one side. When I got back I noticed that the registration and inspection had run out two years before. When he grabbed my ass (slap/grab, "hey dunkadunc, what's up!?") I quit.
Thanks for getting the kid to take all the risks, man.

And then there was that time my dad was working for these people who wanted him to paint a high gable on their house. When he expressed concern that he might fall off, they suggested he tie a rope with one end around the chimney, another around his waist.

No Mrs. Homeowner, you first. And tie it around your neck, why don't you?
posted by dunkadunc at 8:55 AM on June 19, 2011


OSHA: 10th Anniversary Darwin Awards show coming this Fall!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:55 AM on June 19, 2011


Hopefully, not while posting to mefi.

We need that sure_ill_draw_that guy from Reddit right now
posted by danb at 8:55 AM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's a CIA Assassination Techniques manual somewhere with a picture of a dude getting creamed by a combine.
posted by griphus at 9:00 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Desk job....even in my school days, I was scared of freshly sharpened pencils...and at least this dude thinks that photocopiers are out to kill you.

Ah, and power drills, walls (and electricity): I must have been almost three when some dude who had come to my parent's house to install kitchen cabinets struck a power line. That bang cured my of my age-appropriate curiosity about electrical outlets. Like: "remember that bang? That's what's in that little box with the holes." So grown-ups need cartoons for the warning effect...hope it helps...
posted by Namlit at 9:02 AM on June 19, 2011


Accident type: Fall (onto buried treasure)
posted by TedW at 9:02 AM on June 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


...and at least this dude thinks that photocopiers are out to kill you.

Give a chance a copier could kill you and everyone you love.
posted by griphus at 9:05 AM on June 19, 2011


Phil didn't know why "god" was offering him the magic pendant, he only knew he must have it.
posted by fartknocker at 9:06 AM on June 19, 2011 [21 favorites]


The drawings get better technically as the artist goes along. Assuming that it's all the same artist, this is primary example of why practice makes perfect!
posted by madred at 9:08 AM on June 19, 2011


I knew there was a reason why I wanted to grow up to have a desk job. Actually doing stuff is dangerous.

I really need to find and scan the monthly safety memo that was sent out a few months ago - a long, dry list of office worker accidents, like "An engineer was reloading the office printer when it tipped over and crushed his foot, which had to be amputated."
posted by muddgirl at 9:14 AM on June 19, 2011


Back when I used to work for the Courts Service I'd have to fill in accident reports for the most insanely minor things if my boss was around when they happened. I think my favourite was 'tripped over box but regained balance in time. Not hurt'.
posted by emmtee at 9:24 AM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Competent Safety Monitor on Site: Yes - Victim
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:27 AM on June 19, 2011


The drawings get better technically as the artist goes along. Assuming that it's all the same artist, this is primary example of why practice makes perfect!

With all the "20+ years experience at this type of work before accident" captions as a counterpoint.
posted by rainy at 9:28 AM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Reminds me of the death cartoons in The Journeyman Project games.
posted by JDHarper at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2011


(and I drive forklifts).
posted by sperose at 11:05 AM on June 19 [+] [!]


Guten Tag, Klaus!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Cause of death: Disco dancing in inappropriate area.
posted by panboi at 9:36 AM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oops, someone beat me to it. I noticed several reports with "Competent Safety Monitors" who were ruled incompetent by circumstances.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:37 AM on June 19, 2011


3. Operators and assistants using powder-actuated tools must be safeguarded with eye protection [28 CFR 1926.302(e)(12)]
The safety recommendation suggests the illustration is inaccurate.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:38 AM on June 19, 2011


Hmm... they all seem to be men. I guess my wife is right.
posted by punkfloyd at 9:51 AM on June 19, 2011


maryr: "Why was the company vice president fixing the backhoe's brakes?"

Sometimes "I am vice president of an excavation company" is just a hifalootin' way of saying "My buddy owns an excavator and he pays me to go dig holes with it".
posted by idiopath at 10:06 AM on June 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


Man, whelk, did you HAVE to post this on Father's Day?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:11 AM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Somehow similar to Giles' classic "National Safety Campaign" from the spring of 1956:
No 1
No 2
No 3
No 4
posted by Namlit at 10:33 AM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why was the company vice president fixing the backhoe's brakes?

Yeah, the guy wearing the $4,000 suit is going to fix a backhoe's brakes. COME ON!
posted by grouse at 10:33 AM on June 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I hope when I die I have one of these little cartoons above my obituary. And I'm okay with embellishment... like if I'm ejected out of a car window into a tree, there can be a sign in the background that says "Nudie Bar", "Fireworks", or something, just to make people scratch their heads.
posted by crapmatic at 10:40 AM on June 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Noun: Composure or coolness as shown in danger or under trying circumstances.

Well, there's my new word for the day.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:44 AM on June 19, 2011


I want the job of creating the death-site illustrations.

In other job related trivia, I've seen this site before. I sent it to my sister who is an attorney for the State Dept. of Natural Resources in a mining state, and she had actually worked on one of these cases.
posted by Mcable at 10:47 AM on June 19, 2011


Well, you really shouldn't wear a suit to a construction site.
posted by maryr at 10:48 AM on June 19, 2011


I'm a little disappointed there aren't any multi-person confined space asphyxiation incidents in here. Our HTRW training at work always tells these ridiculous (and tragic) stories where a worker goes down into a hole to fix something and passes out, so then another worker goes in there after him, promptly passes out as well, and pretty soon you have 3 or 4 guys passed out in a hole because there's no oxygen down there.
posted by gueneverey at 10:50 AM on June 19, 2011


Maybe it's me but it seems that bulldozer maintenance being sub-optimal shouldn't have such dire consequences.

Maybe Caterpillar could review the failure modes for their hydraulics?
posted by dglynn at 10:53 AM on June 19, 2011


Maybe Caterpillar could review the failure modes for their hydraulics?

That was at least 27 years ago.
posted by grouse at 11:19 AM on June 19, 2011


Uh...

Frequent and regular inspections of equipment were not made by competent persons designated by the employer in accordance with 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1926.20(b)(2). It was determined that the hydraulic hose had been installed backward so that a bend in the fitting connection made contact with the body of the bulldozer, resulting in wear and abrasion of the hose at the connection. This was not discovered during inspection of the machine.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:21 AM on June 19, 2011


These are horrific. I'm actually slightly surprised by the light tone in here. The ones that are particularly sad are the ones where one employee causes the death, or directed another to perform an action that resulted in a death. Incredible, the dangers involved in construction sites.
posted by agregoli at 11:23 AM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


This reminds me of those EC horror comics...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 11:32 AM on June 19, 2011


Our HTRW training at work always tells these ridiculous (and tragic) stories where a worker goes down into a hole to fix something and passes out, so then another worker goes in there after him, promptly passes out as well, and pretty soon you have 3 or 4 guys passed out in a hole because there's no oxygen down there.

I have personal knowledge of one such case, where three people died before someone realized what was going on. It sounds pretty dumb after the fact, but that's just one more reason people need to be educated about it.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:37 AM on June 19, 2011


And, for the first time in a long time, all of the sudden it wasn't a boring job after all.
posted by etc. at 11:54 AM on June 19, 2011


These are horrific. I'm actually slightly surprised by the light tone in here.

Horrific facts presented in a dry manner with silly illustrations is sort of the essence of comedy. I know that real people died (my father is a machinist and I am an engineer so I am no stranger to industrial accidents), but these accidents happened over 30 years ago and the accounts are anonymous.
posted by muddgirl at 12:14 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shake Hands With Danger
posted by jtron at 12:37 PM on June 19, 2011


This makes me really sad for some reason
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:44 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


What makes me sad is all the times that I, a reasonably technically savvy and intelligent person, have come close to making some sort of really stupid blunder when dealing with machinery and tools, in spite of being obsessive about safety routines. I only cut myself a few times - knock on wood (and put that chisel out of reach before doing so), and I only once squished my index finger while dropping a log of firewood on to a hydraulic splitter (both are still working).

To expand on my earlier thought and on muddgirl's analysis, horrific facts presented in a dry manner will make a difference because the laughter, the embarrassment, and the stirred fantasy, all together, do shake people up, where some google-translated instruction manual or a dusty work-rules sheet don't.

I'm not so surprised about the light tone here. There is something deeply human about inwardly shuddering because some horrifying realization hit home, and outwardly laughing. We survive that way, how else would we...
posted by Namlit at 1:00 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have personal knowledge of one such case, where three people died before someone realized what was going on. It sounds pretty dumb after the fact, but that's just one more reason people need to be educated about it.

It's so darn scary because it really doesn't seem dumb at all in the moment. Someone goes down into a pit or tank and doesn't come back up, so you rush in to help them. That feels like the heroic and prudent thing to do. After all, if your colleague popped over to the truck for some tools and never came back, you'd head toward the truck to see what happened. We either have to be well trained to ignore our instincts in a crisis and take precautions before going in (air monitors, breathing apparatus, safety ropes, buddy system, etc...) or figure it out the hard way by noticing the tragic pattern: the last three guys who went down there haven't come back and I'm probably not as much of a special snowflake as I think I am.
posted by zachlipton at 1:12 PM on June 19, 2011


I have a crushed thumb at the moment. If you were watching a live video feed of the moments leading up to the squishing, you'd be "that dude is going to crush his thumb." But I was in a rush and frustrated, and I try to keep safety in mind normally.

It's like that video posted here the other day of the machine which ground shit up--I almost couldn't watch it through just because of how insanely unsafe everyone was being in the video.
posted by maxwelton at 1:22 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't like watching these since I work in construction. I this fear of carrying someone's finger to the hospital so they can try to reattach it.

Safety equipment can really annoying, especially when you first start wearing it. It is in your way. It smells funny. It presses on your head.

When I first started wearing ear plugs, I would take them off the moment I was out of the area. Over time, though, I would forget to take them out. Now I can wear them and think nothing of it. (I might talk a little loudly, though!)

I was about a year and a half on the job when I had just learned that a general contractor can be directly liable when the GC directs someone how to do something. Like telling a testing guy exactly where to drilling holes in concrete to test its strength.

The guy they sent out had 30 years of experience and was really respected in his field. Yet I had to tell him several times to wear safety glasses and ear plugs. My coworker told him once, too. Now I know that I can just send him back and request someone else, but I didn't think of it at the time.

Yeah, its his ears he's damaging. But if something had hit his eye, my boss would've been liable.

I think the real goal in safety training is to make it such a habit that it feels weird to not put on breathing equipment when you go down that hole. Then in the heat of the moment that is what you do.

Shit will happen, sure. But safety is making it so that when someone doesn't pay attention for one moment (which will happen), there isn't such a dire consequence.

Usually.
posted by Monday at 1:45 PM on June 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


I have a friend who used to run a prop shop at a university theater. Each fall, they would have a new crop of fresh workers, and, in the first few weeks, she would always have a moment when she would say "Everybody, stop what you are doing and gather around the table saw. No, at the other end. Frank, what were you doing?"

And Frank would be "sawing something."

And she would say "Where was the safety guard?"

And Frank would say "I was just sawing one piece."

Then she would start up the saw, push a piece of wood into the blade slightly off kilter (safely to one side) and it would kick back into the wall. "Frank," she would say "notice how the board passed through the space where your teeth would have been? See the dent in the wall?"

Everyone would use the safety guard after that.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:53 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


The OSHA artist forgot to tack this on to every illustration.
posted by dgaicun at 1:56 PM on June 19, 2011


Sort of a more sobering version of the bunny suicides...
posted by cacofonie at 2:29 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Shake Hands With Danger

From the film's description: "CONTENT ADVISORY: May be frightening and surprising to some viewers, and contains great country-style song by a Johnny Cash-soundalike."

Now I feel conflicted.
posted by ardgedee at 2:31 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


In each of the two years preceding the passage of the OSH Act in the US, over 14,000 workers were killed. We've gotten a lot better, but as you can see from the weekly OSHA FAT/CAT reports (fatality/catastrophe) reports, we've still got a ways to go.
posted by Standeck at 2:55 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Architect: MC Escher
posted by furtive at 3:19 PM on June 19, 2011


My dad used to work in construction before Parkinson's made him unable to do so. Looking at those reports made me very grateful that he's still around. And in possession of all his limbs.

Are farm incidents covered by OSHA? I grew up in rural Nebraska, and it seemed every few years we would hear of someone being caught in machinery or trapped in a grain bin.

Wow, looking at Standeck's link, I wouldn't realize that working in retail was so dangerous. Some of the reports were from Macy's and Bed Bath and Beyond.
posted by weathergal at 3:27 PM on June 19, 2011


My boss has all his fingers therefore my shop is safe. I rely on occasional lacerations from the flap disk and sunburns from the welder to remind me that tools kill, and so far I am alive. Thank you the Whelk for this fantastic and hilarious shit which also bears the truth that work is horrific.
posted by generalist at 3:38 PM on June 19, 2011


GenjiandProust: I have a friend who used to run a prop shop at a university theater...And she would say "Where was the safety guard?"

My safety story starts much this way, and I may have told it before: I worked in a summer theatre years ago, a pretty well-run scene shop, but there were always the less-than-safe guys around. I went over to the band saw to cut something, and discovered the guard was moved way up in a dangerous position, like stick-your-whole-head-in-the blade levels of dangerousness. In my head, I say to myself, "Dammit, {so-and-so} always does this, somebody's going to get cut," so I put it back down, and begin to cut my thing. I'm cutting a rounded end, and just before the cut is done the saw either hits a knot or hits an open spot, and the wood splits -- and now that there's no wood resistance holding me back and my pushing-hand goes right at the blade.

My knuckles on my left ring-finger hit the guard that I had so diligently put back into place - there was just enough room that the tip of the finger went in far enough to get cut, but not very deep. I immediately tell somebody I cut myself on the bandsaw and head for the sink, where the first aid kit was. The head of the shop suddenly appeared, because when he heard somebody's hand went into the bandsaw, he was invisioning having to carry fingertips to the hospital with a really bloody person.

So, whenever I'm working with tools with my kids, that's the story I tell -- not the "dumb guy messed up" story about the guy I knew with no pinky, but my own "smart guy did things right, still got hurt, but look at that scar and draw a line all the way through the finger, and that's what almost happened if not for safety rules."
posted by AzraelBrown at 3:40 PM on June 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


Standeck, I agree that we definitely do have progress to be made. The number of people dying from falling off ladders or being hit with unsecured shit is entirely too high for my liking. Same with chemical exposure.

But, here are two snippets from the week ending April 2, 2011:
Worker was killed after a cigarette lighter used to check the level of a 55-gal. drum of flammable liquid ignited the liquid's vapor and exploded. Worker died from burns and blunt head trauma.
and
Worker suffered blunt force head trauma after riding bicycle off a four-foot loading dock.
Those are not the same kind of incidents as falling debris or asphyxiation at all.
posted by Netzapper at 3:40 PM on June 19, 2011


Yeah, some of these are stupidity. Some are also simply legitimate risks that come with the jobs.

3/13/2011: "Police officer fell 9 feet after being pushed over railing by suspect."
3/20/2011: "Worker found shot in cab."
3/26/2011: "Police trooper struck by a passing vehicle while conducting a traffic stop."
3/28/2011: "Park Service worker collapsed and died from possible smoke inhalation after fighting a fire."

There is likely little that OSHA could have done to prevent those deaths and the person ultimately responsible for them will be subject to legal action

Meanwhile, bad weekend in Florida:
3/13/2011
Walt Disney World Co., Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Worker testing a roller coaster was struck and killed by one of the coaster’s carts.

3/14/2011
United Space Alliance, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899-0001
Worker died after an apparent 215-foot fall from a space shuttle launch structure.
That report had other exotic injuries.
posted by maryr at 4:17 PM on June 19, 2011


Ah, and then there's this of course. "You do wonder what people put on their insurance claim forms in such cases."
Maybe a few cartoons would help these wayward tourists...
posted by Namlit at 4:20 PM on June 19, 2011


That would be what happens when people listen to their GPS instead of looking for signs.
posted by maryr at 4:21 PM on June 19, 2011


Just this week I saw cowboy cable-pullers move their truck with a guy up in the cherry-picker basket. I wanted to pull over and make a citizen's arrest, or at least yell at how stupid they were being.

I don't have any doubt that these guys have done this a thousand times, and have not yet popped the clutch and flipped their truck. And further, I don't doubt that these guys were anti-union, what with all the sissy "safety rules" the union would make them comply with.

But yeah, I've done my share of manual labor, and mostly I was reminded at how lucky I am that I now have a desk job. (Unionized, too....)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 4:24 PM on June 19, 2011


As a child I was once quite shaken up hearing my father relay a story about a family acquaintance (someone I had never met) getting sucked into a hay baler. Needless to say, it was nothing like the old cartoons where people get sucked into balers and come out shaped like bales.

As my father described the scene, "they put him in a pail."
posted by evilcolonel at 4:51 PM on June 19, 2011


Death from good-samaritanism: "Two workers were electrocuted after lifting an aluminum pipe to free a raccoon and hitting an overhead power line."

Death at the laundry: "Worker was asphyxiated after her scarf was caught on the rollers of an iron/press machine."

Death in the bowling alley: "Worker was releasing a jam from a bowling pinsetter machine when the worker was caught by an elevator wheel."

A classic from the movies: "Worker struck by paddle of meat blender after sanitizing it, and blender wasn't locked out."

Nightmare fuel: "Worker was walking across a single train track trestle bridge and was struck by the train."

Apart from these more exotic cases, a couple trends stand out after perusing a number of the OSHA reports:
  1. Electrocution.
  2. Falling off ladders
  3. Crushed by moving vehicles
  4. Being a lumberjack will likely kill you
posted by brokkr at 5:24 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I noticed that two of the links in the FPP were about rotating shafts -one drive shaft, and the other a small tunnel borer.

I grew up on a small farm. The damn PTO (power-take-off) on the tractor used to scare the shit out of me - It was a little over an inch diameter, splined steel shaft that extended about 6 inches out from the back of the tractor. Even in neutral, it would rotate with a fair amount of speed and torque. Rotating shafts are totally, completely unforgiving. A 1" diameter shaft has a LOT of torque to do anything useful, and that torque will snap bones as if they were balsa wood. And of course, once they do that, they'll just keep on going, until the bones, flesh, skin, and clothes have turned into a pulpy mess that no longer clings to the shaft.

Though I never even had a close call, just thinking about it is giving me the willies. Reading those links in the FPP...I can understand how someone didn't realize that their clothes could get caught, and how fast things would go wrong if they did.

On a totally, completely different track, y'all might want to note that being a cop isn't even in the top ten most dangerous jobs in the U.S. And the number one cause of injuries and death among cops is vehicle accidents. A significant number of those are solo accidents, though I don't recall the percentage off hand.
posted by Xoebe at 5:40 PM on June 19, 2011


brokkr, good to know someone else is spending waaaaay more time reading these than they probably need to. I seem to be fascinated by the exotic and the mundane:
1/14/2011 Knoxville Zoological Gardens,
Knoxville, TN 37914
Worker (elephant keeper) was struck by the head and trunk of an elephant while giving the animal a treat.

1/26/2011 First Student Inc.,
Center Moriches, NY  11934
Worker was crossing the parking lot and was struck by a snowplow.

1/28/2011 Metro Express, Inc.,
Ontario, CA 91764
Worker was found unresponsive in a vehicle carrying dry ice with the engine running. Possible asphyxiation.

1/29/2011 Lowell Transitional Living Center Inc.,
Lowell, MA  01852
Worker was murdered by a client.

1/31/2011 Liberty Building Services,
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Worker tripped in an office and fell.

2/1/2011 Arcelor Mittal LaPlace,
LaPlace, LA  70068
Worker was disconnecting a hose from an air gun attached to a ladle filled with molten steel when the worker was splashed with the molten steel.

2/5/2011 CCAPS, LLC DBA ServiceMaster,
Belmont, MA 02578
Worker was electrocuted when cleaning a wet carpet and moving an old lamp.
posted by maryr at 5:46 PM on June 19, 2011


"Hey! What have you got there? You were not wearing your helmet, eh?" - "No, no, it's just a nosebleed!" - "BETWEEN YOUR EYES??"

In the interests of accuracy, yoHighness, most nosebleeds occur between the eyes.

Some ex-boxers may deviate slightly from this rule.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:56 PM on June 19, 2011


.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:25 PM on June 19, 2011


People dying after falling nine feet or having a small object fall on their head or while moving a lamp? This really brings home that death can come at any time.
posted by salvia at 6:32 PM on June 19, 2011


Crapmatic: I hope when I die I have one of these little cartoons above my obituary.

How about putting it on your gravestone?
posted by bentley at 7:17 PM on June 19, 2011


@weathergal - OSHA covers most occupations in the US. They don't cover family farms if only the immediate family works there. If the farm has a hired hand, he's covered. They cover churches if the church has employees who perform secular tasks, e.g., cutting the grass. They cover federal agencies including the Postal Service. About the only entities not covered are state and local government agencies, although there are 26 state and territories that have their own state OSHAs which then cover their respective political sub-divisions.
posted by Standeck at 7:24 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yep, plenty of farm deaths in those reports and a couple of Postal Worker deaths.
posted by maryr at 7:37 PM on June 19, 2011


do they have a picture for this kind of workplace accident?
posted by Bwithh at 7:56 PM on June 19, 2011


I have a friend who used to run a prop shop at a university theater. Each fall, they would have a new crop of fresh workers, and, in the first few weeks, she would always have a moment when she would say "Everybody, stop what you are doing and gather around the table saw. No, at the other end. Frank, what were you doing?"

It's always been a wonder to me that there aren't more accidents in university and especially high school theater shops. Some shops are certainly better about safety education and take steps to reduce risks like looking up the tools at night, buying SawStop saws (hideously expensive, but not such a bad investment given how dangerous table saws can be; they are a heck of a lot cheaper than a finger). Still, it's an environment where you often have students who think they are invincible using many different power-tools with very little training on a wide range of projects against tight deadlines and irregular supervision while improvising much of the plan as they go. Even assuming that everyone is always sober and well-rested, not pulling pranks and completely goofing off, and that the tools are maintained properly (conditions that don't don't really come to mind when you think of a group of high school and college students), it's all pretty risky.

Sadly, there have been some pretty bad accidents in student theaters (the Yale Rep truck-loading fatality comes to mind). But when you've got 15-year-olds using power tools and aerial work platforms by themselves in a back corner of their high schools, it is a bit surprising that accidents don't happen more often.
posted by zachlipton at 8:40 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Worker was found in a fire.

...That sentence is indescribably horrifying.
posted by Judith Butlerian Jihad at 9:07 PM on June 19, 2011


You want to see the ultimate farm nightmare tool? Add in an undoubtedly unshielded PTO shaft to run it...
posted by maxwelton at 1:04 AM on June 20, 2011


SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO HAVE LUNCH. TRUST ME.

My dad's a carpenter, but right after he got out of art school (insert joke here), he worked at the stoneyard/concrete company where my grandpa worked. Growing up around them, I heard plenty of "and then...[horrible thing X] happened, and his arm fell off, and..." stories. I got hands-on nursing experience pulling giant pieces of wood out of my dad's finger, you name it. I still believe duct tape is a perfectly acceptable substitute for a bandaid, particularly on joints and other hard-to-stick places.

The accident story that sticks with me and gives me nightmares to this day? Someone Dad knew worked for a company that did stuff with hot tar (road maintenance? I have no idea). They had VATS of the stuff. Big, molten vats of hot tar.

And his friend fell in.

There isn't a damn thing you can do in this situation. Pull him out and his flesh would just fall off like a cooked chicken. He stayed above the tar and alive long enough for his wife to get there and say goodbye.

This is why I am scared of tar.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:47 AM on June 20, 2011


Oh I've heard worse than that. I recall a couple of years ago, a road crew was laying asphalt. A dump truck dropped a huge load of hot asphalt right on top of a worker that didn't see it coming, he got buried under tons of basically molten lava. I don't even want to think about what they pulled out of that pile. But OSHA did, when they found out the worker that got killed was under 16, and should not have been working there in violation child labor laws.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:46 AM on June 20, 2011


Eeeeeeesh! [cringe]
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:54 AM on June 20, 2011


I am trying to stop imagining the horror of this one:

2/1/2011 Arcelor Mittal LaPlace,
LaPlace, LA 70068
Worker was disconnecting a hose from an air gun attached to a ladle filled with molten steel when the worker was splashed with the molten steel.

posted by canine epigram at 1:19 PM on June 20, 2011


I feel like that this thread evolves into something where Oh I've heard worse than that sort of doesn't matter any more.
posted by Namlit at 1:25 PM on June 20, 2011


Then there was the lady who backed into the industrial fan - disaster!
posted by Standeck at 1:35 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay look i can't stand it any more. Let's have the story of the guy who did the butchering around the farms where I grew up. Nothing bad and butchery I promise, just darkness, dizziness and a slight topographical change.

Butcher had the habit, after a pub night, of letting his trusty bike sort of find its way home on its own. This includes a slight climb up to an embankment, a left hand turn, a leisurely roll down on a road that runs parallel to the canal, and a smooth left-hand turn onto his farmyard.
One morning, my father, who was still jogging at the time, found an abandoned bike on the far side of the canal and reported this to the police. The local cop came in the middle of our lunch to tell the story:
Roadworks had made it necessary to lay a four-inch pipe across the road, just where the slope-down acceleration was greatest, and to make this negotiable for cars, horses and bikes, they had crafted a ramp-type of thing out of asphalt and stuff. Darkness falls. Enter Butcher, dim and dizzy, on his bike. Up the road; left-hand turn; and wheee! down the final slope. Preparing for his final turn home, he was caught in a sudden upward surge, propelled to the right, bike and all, into the middle of the water.
Somehow taking the bike along with him, he then apparently swam across to the far side, fought with some barbed wire there, made his way to the next bridge and finally found home sans bike. Comment of the cop: "Have you seen him! He looks like he's battled with a tank."

To prove that farm work is really dangerous, no matter how careful you are.
posted by Namlit at 2:18 PM on June 20, 2011


Oh, crap:
Old Dominion Tree Services, Poquoson, VA
11/22/2009
Worker (14 years old) was pulled into a wood chipper.
posted by brokkr at 4:18 AM on June 21, 2011


I'm no stranger to gallows humor, muddgrrl. Just slightly surprised that everyone so far had been so jovial. These make me feel a bit sick, even if they are illustrations.
posted by agregoli at 9:33 AM on June 21, 2011


Ooh, these do make me shudder. There's those Canadian films I've seen from ~10 years ago or so, too, of the consequences of workplace accidents. Very hard to watch.

But never mind these, or that stupid 1960's CHiPs crash film we all saw in high school driver's ed, you know what we Americans should be glad we didn't grow up seeing? British Public Information Films. Apaches? Holy shit.

Anyway. OSHA needs to check out the British archives and see how it's done if they'd really like to make an impact.
posted by droplet at 8:59 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


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