Work screw ups...


On jack stands.
Supporting Member
I have more than I'd like to admit.

I put an elbow through a really old window on a dormer my very first time I had to harness and tie off on a roof. I learned how to glaze a window.

I went to toss a tool from a roof we were sheeting to a pal, below, and it hooked my belt or pant leg and dropped fell awkwardly onto my hood.

I was jacking up an end wall with a framed chimney and the vinyl handle slipped off and the handle ratcheted into my face, above my eye. I got some stitches for that one.

I left my sheetrock square leaning against a wall and two guys from another crew were carrying a box and one tripped on it then the other stepped on it and I had to take a longer lunch to get a new square.

But my best rookie mistake that almost killed me was hooking my hammer into the ladder and falling 2 stories backward toward the ground, while attached to said ladder. The dumpster just below me acted as a fulcrum and when the ladder hit it, it accelerated my impact into the dirt.

The embarrassment was far worse than the pain. Though I didn't pay for beer that night or any night after when the story was told.

Listen to the boss when he says keep your hammer loop in back.


A lot of loose ends
Supporting Member
Sand Hollow
In my early 20s I was doing some testing on a portable gas chromatograph. Basically I'd put a chemical in front of the device, push start and surf the innernets for 20 minutes, switch chemicals and repeat (when I joined RME).

One Friday afternoon I was testing something nasty, chloroform if I remember right. On my way to the bathroom I kicked over the bottle I was testing... Building evacuated, everyone got to go home early that day.


Lover of all things Toyota
Ogden UT
I work in the dietary supplement manufacturing business. I am in the quality department and always get to "investigate" when issues appear. I once got a call about scrapping a full batch of material that was being blended. I went out to the blending area and saw the blending guys sweeping over a foot of powder out of the 20 x 20 room. I watched the the video recording of the room and saw one of the guys didn't lock blender door down properly. When the blender began to spin the door fell off and sent a 1000 kg fly out the open door. The guys didn't get the blender to stop spinning until there was no powder left in it.



I hate Jeeps
Pleasant Grove
I worked at UVU on the grounds crew mowing lawn during high school. One week we were ahead of the big mowers so they had us getting rid of the gophers around the ponds. We were using smoke bombs that you stuck in one hole and waited for the gophers to come out. When we went to lunch there was a fire truck in front of the admin building. Apparently we were right next to the air intake for the building lighting off sulfur smoke bombs. Evacuated half the building.

A couple years later I worked for the water master there. We had just fixed a 10" water main that was leaking and I had told our summer hire to go across the field and turn on the valve. He had helped me do this several times. This time he decided to crank the valve (on a 10" main) open as fast as he could turn the handle. I yelled at him to stop on the radio but not before it blew the first fire hydrant on that line 15 feet in the air.


Et incurventur ante non
I've broken a bunch of stuff at Summit, but nothing "major"-- not that it stopped me from feeling like sh*t about each one... Worst was either sending a machine home with a boring bar in a part, which broke our last tool holder for a busy weekend, or grenading a brand new tapping head when I selected the wrong tool. But it could be a LOT worse at a machine shop. I think mine have been relatively small but pricey effups.

I totalled a cherry '72 Chevelle, looked like all original survivor-- by dropping a 40' tree branch on it being a hotshot. I had intended it to be super cool, I'd let it start coming down and just zip the little strap of tree I left, so it would fall on one side of a bigger branch below it, and then it would be so rad and fall into the park and the crowd would ooh and ahh... except that it landed just a little too vertically, and sprung back on the leafy end, and very, very slowly wobbled... and wobbled... and then I watched a 40' hammer swing with increasingly velocity at the C-pillar of that perfect Chevelle. I almost cried when it hit... and I had about 60' of boom to come down from with everyone watching silently. Then they cheered because I finally wrecked something, and told me all kinds of horror stories, about wrecking a 7-11... destroying the Midvale city sign in the median... etc etc. I felt pretty bad about destroying that classic old Chevy, but oddly enough, no owner was found, and no one ever submitted a claim against our insurance for it... weird.


Are you not entertained?!
That could have ended much worse? How'd they get stopped that fast? (maybe they didn't?)
They didn't... derailed a few hundred feet back. Put it in emergency, but not before running thru a crossing with the front wheels on the ground.

There was a road crossing that was iced up... :oops: