(Preventable) Injuries to Fellow Workers

After several years in numerous other occupations, my oldest son came to work with me as an electrician.  I was teaching him the trade.  Sometimes it wasn’t the lesson I intended.

One day the job involved wiring in a club house.  This club house had been constructed from an old school house with an added section.  In time another addition was built to house a walk in cooler.  The walk in cooler was built with heavy insulation and heavy doors.  The actual refrigerating power unit sat atop the walk in cooler.

As it turned out the most critical information that we needed was not immediately observable.

The refrigerating unit, sitting atop the walk in cooler, was sitting free.  Not fastened down.

In order to facilitate getting power to the refrigerating unit, sitting free atop the walk in cooler, we had to move (slide) the walk in cooler a short distance.  In the course of sliding the cooler, with the refrigerating unit atop it, sitting free, the refrigerating unit came into contact with a low sitting roof beam.  Consequently it (the refrigerating unit sitting free atop the walk in cooler) slid on the roof of the walk in cooler until it overbalanced and came down.

On my son’s head.

It was not a light-weight piece of equipment, and for a moment I thought I had killed him.

He was alright except for a nasty bump on the head.  I still sometimes wonder if I damaged his health more than we thought at the time.

Such accidents are not unusual.

I know a carpenter that was working with his father.  He accidently severed his father’s finger with a skill saw.

One contractor I worked for was building shelving with one of his employees.  The boss was standing behind a large piece of pegboard.  He held up a small piece of wood.  The employee thought he saw the white wood through one of the peg holes.  Using an electric screw gun the employee drove a screw into the boss’ wrist.  The boss told him to back it out.  The employee did so and the boss drove himself to the ER at the hospital.

I am sure that it was occurrences like these that brought about the safety laws that we review, depending on the scope of a job, each week or each job.

Today one of our guiding principles is “safety first.”