Injuries (They’re not funny)

Several years ago (pre-1970), I was working in the Hill County Repair shop located in Havre, Montana.  It was a facility for repairing the county’s machinery.  Since much of their machinery was diesel, it would blacken the ceiling in the shop pretty badly.

The county decision makers decided it was time to clean (paint) the ceiling.  Painting the ceiling required that we pull all the light fixtures down.  The ceiling would be painted and the fixtures cleaned up, then we would re-install the fixtures.  A rolling scaffold was rigged up for me and I would pull down a number of fixtures and go to another job.

The county had hired two out of work boys (brothers) to paint the ceiling and clean the fixtures.  We warned them that the wires were not to be touched.  They were left to do their portion of the job for a few hours, then I would return to re-attach the cleaned fixtures and give the boys more to clean.

One day when I returned to install the fixtures I found the two brothers rolling on the floor and fighting with each other.  We got them separated and asked what happened.

One of them had reached up to move the electrical wires out of the way.  (We had warned them.)  The boy got shocked, jerked his arm back and caught his brother right on the nose with his elbow.  We got everything cleaned up and they went back to work, somewhat mollified.

Just another argument for safety measures.

Another time we were installing metal boxes that were to contain clocks.  These boxes had been manufactured with sharp corners.  As I stood on a make shift platform to install one of the boxes, the platform gave way under me.  On the one hand (literally) it was a good thing that I had already securely fastened the box.  I grabbed for something to catch myself and caught the sharp corner of the box in the palm of my hand.

There was nothing else to grab hold of with the other hand and it hurt too much to holler.  My apprentice, a strong young boy picked me off of that hook like a sack of flour and sat me down on the floor.  I was younger then and healed rapidly so I didn’t lose any work.

Safety measures!  Safety measures!

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