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  • Close Calls - List yours

    Just wondering if any of you have had some close calls both on the jobsite or off. I think the 2 I remember the most were.

    1) on the way back from football practice I pulled right in front of a speeding car coming up a hill. Barely cleared in front of him. Really gave me that sick feeling inside realizing I coulda been killed so easily.

    2) was working on my grandpas farm driving a front end loader while some guys were shoveling slag into it. While driving up to a new location the clutch engaged sorta weird and lurched forward and almost clocked one of my best friends in the head. Doesnt sound all that bad but heavy equipment doesn't give all that much when someone hits it or it hits someone. Woulda been a horrible concussion at very least.

    Overall I have been pretty lucky and not had too many of those situations.

    So whats your story.

    josh

  • #2
    Re: Close Calls - List yours

    After laying pipe with each excavator operator a while you start to understand each of their quarks, strengths etc..
    Example: I worked with three operators on a regular basis.
    With one I stood right where I wanted him to cast material and he would land it right at my feet. With another I had to stand back 5' or he would shower me with whatever he was casting. With another I had to stand 10' back or he would always cast short for fear of hitting me.
    Luckily this day I was working with the third guy. He had a quick switch bucket on his machine and just switched buckets. He had my new (useless pot head) top Guy put in the pin and lock pin. He scoops a bucket of stone out of the truck and casts it in the trench. I grade it out and he gets another bucket of stone and casts it. Then I see something odd. It's the bucket. WTF. I feel a rush of air and then thud, the bucket lands 6" from my feet. Everyone just kinda froze for 10secs trying to get their mind to catch up to what just happened.
    I turns out the pot head put the lock pin in back wards and it fell out. He lasted another 2hrs before he walked off the job and I added yet another chore to my list of things I wouldn't let other people do.
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    • #3
      Re: Close Calls - List yours

      Too many to list, would get boring but here are a few while working as a Telephone Lineman and Repairman. Winding up the Auger on a digging truck when the stow winch snapped, auger swung away from truck and took out a stop sign before swinging back towards me! Foreman sent us on a job to replace a 45' pole and said he checked it for rot, all was fine. He lied, base was rotted and when we put the claws on it, it snapped and headed for the street and cars below. Luckily the power lines stopped it a few feet from the ground. On loan to the repair dept, partner and myself ask permission to go to the back of a three family house to check crossbox. We were met by a man holding a gun who thought we were there to steal his limo? Sunny summer morning in the South Bronx I pull a manhole cover and wait to place a 3600 pair cable. While leaning against a mailbox I hear a commotion in the box truck waiting at a traffic light twenty feet away. Three men in the cab and one is weilding a gun which happens to be pointed in my direction, turns out he high jacked the truck from the two occupants. Prior to all this I was a garage mechanic for the Telephone Co. and while I had a van up on a lift I moved away to get some tools and the truck crashed to the ground. There are supposed to be saftey stops to prevent such an occurance but thirty plus years ago they weren't much on safety. There was also the occassional toilet bowl, radiator and brick tossed in our general vecinity while removing or placing cables behind occupied or abandoned buildings. Gets to the point where not much bothers you. Josh, I have a theory that we are constanly flirting with disaster.Think about it, every time you are driving around a curve and traffic is coming towards you all it would take is a slight turn of the wheel by either you or the other guy. Illusion of security, it's what makes life bearable.

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      • #4
        Re: Close Calls - List yours

        About 7 years ago I was working on a cherry picker, soldering a 3" water main in a new factory.
        My super was at the base telling me to just move the arm over, rather than relocate the base, despite warning light and buzzer going off, saying "I do it all the time".
        I repostion the arm, walk over to where I need to work and notice the pipe above getting slightly farther away...the machine was beginning to tip...at approximately 20+ feet in the air directly over millions in commercial computer/robotics machinery.
        I eased back to the base side of the platform...moved the arm in and told him NOT to tell me to do that again.

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        • #5
          Re: Close Calls - List yours

          This incident came to mind when Duckbutter mentioned taking directions from someone on the ground. A new guy was loading a three thousand pound reel of cable on the bed of his truck using the boom and winch. The load started to swing wildly as two different guys were barking orders at him. I got his attention and told him to just "Stop", don't listen to anyone else and when you move the controls go very slowly as the movements are greatly amplified by the equipment. I just wanted to mention that it's best that just one person give directions unless the job really demands more, it's easy to overwhelm a person when he's trying to split his attention. It's also helpful if the person directing you knows what the heck they're doing!

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          • #6
            Re: Close Calls - List yours

            I was cleaning gutters one day and all of a sudden friction gave way and I was sliding toward the edge. Managed to catch myself just before my feet were completely off. Good thing too it was a concrete sidewalk below me.
            Information on copper range hoods and more.

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            • #7
              Re: Close Calls - List yours

              Multiple close calls.

              I was under a retirement building installing a c/o, about 100' crawl to the main, dug down 2 feet, older people not listing to the don't use the toilet sign, flushing and the clay won't snap right, so pull the grinder out, in water, bailing it out, yummy, well before I know it I am covered in water, laying in water and grinding, I felt it and was able to shake it off, then in 10 mins, I go to get started again and dig the knee into the extension cord joint that the light is plugged into and get it again from the knee.

              Another time is a helper was cutting old galvy out of the crawlspace, told him to cut hanging pipe, he started cutting something that didn't sound right, so I turn around and it's a gas line, I stuck my nail in the groove, he was almost there with a dull blade.

              Fell out of 2 cielings, first time I was wrestling something in the cieling, don't remember, but slipped off the joist and landed on the vanity, broke the mirrior and light fixture, the fan sparked and feel with me

              I had a scheduled call at scottsdale housing complex, a war zone in los angeles, I was 45 mins late, when I arrived the area was roped off with police tape, about 100' away there was a object covered up, I had to cross the police tape 2 feet to get into this customers house so his water could be turned on, 7 houses back, every alley was taped up, approx 1 hr before I arrived there was a shoot out.
              sigpic

              Robert

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              • #8
                Re: Close Calls - List yours

                My major close call was, i was working at a hotel in the middle of January one year (about 9yrs ago).

                The temp outside at 1am was around 5 degrees. The hotel was under construction. We were there cleaning the kitchen lines with the jet truck. As i was walking around the parking lot behind the hotel, there was a huge blue tarp laying on the ground. No cones, no barracades, no caution tape, nothing. So i decided to walk across the blue tarp. I stepped into a hole in the middle of the tarp, that was actually the grease pit for the resturant.
                I fell directly in with the tarp about 8ft into pure grease. To this day i thank my lucky stars for it being cold out because the tarp was really hard, so it didnt sink to much in with me, or it might have covered my head and sufficated me. Thankfully the other guys were getting something off the truck and ran over and got me out. Pretty close to death there, if the pit was empty, it wouldve been a 10ft fall to the bottom with a tarp wrapped around me.
                The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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                • #9
                  Re: Close Calls - List yours

                  Waterwell drilling in the Phillipines and were tripping in collars(pieces of pipe that weigh 1300 lbs). We normally hold the back end of the collar while the crane on the rig lifts it up but decided to do it different this time. We attached the crane on the truck to hold back while the rig's crane lifted the collar up. I was looking directly at the collar, then decided I didn't need to be there and stepped to the side and WhOOSH the collar slipped out the brace and came shooting foward and missed my chest by inches. To make sense of this for those who are not drillers: we did something stupid and I almost got a 1300lb piece of pipe through my chest.

                  Later that same night;

                  Our welder asked me to hold something while he tacked welded in place. I felt a small shock in my arm then next thing I know, my boss is kneeling next to me punching me dead in the chest. The crew said they looked up and I was flopping around on the ground like a dying fish. My boss swears to this day that he saved my life by punching me in the chest, a technique he said he learned watching ER.

                  All this happened the same night and on the first night of drilling. For the next 4 months, no one got so much as a paper cut.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Close Calls - List yours

                    There's probably others, but here's the latest.....

                    Last December in the middle of a snowfall on a winding turn on the road, an 18 wheeler decided to drift over on to my side of the road... Got close enough to whack my side mirror and crack my tire and control arm on the drivers side wheel, yet left the rest of the car(and me) unscathed. Was doing about 50KM/H(31 miles per hour) at the time(not terribly fast because of the weather) - best I can figure I drifted into one of his wheels and bounced off after he hit my mirror. Never even stopped.

                    My mechanic is still shaking his head, considering I called him as I was waiting for the tow truck and told him "I just hit a truck, can you fix me up later this afternoon..?"....
                    I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Close Calls - List yours

                      I've had a bunch but the most recent one was here in Las Vegas last night. We are on week four of inspections on this project and it is starting to take it's toll. Last night rather than going out to dinner I thought I would go find something and bring it back to the hotel. After finding dinner I was headed west on Flamingo when I sudenly saw Paradise which is the street our hotel is on. I quickly made a right turn then noticed Paradice was a one way street at Flamingo and I was heading against traffic. Not knowing what else to do I slowed down and starting flashing my high beams to alert other drivers a moron was traveling the wrong direction on a busy one way street. As soon as I got to the first street I made a right turn and was releived to have gotten safely off the street.

                      Mark
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Close Calls - List yours

                        There are many times I have been spared great bodily injury if not death.I give thanks that I have been allowed to live a healthy life with all the functioning parts I was born with.

                        Skillsaw only tearing my jeans,holesaw opening my wrist to expose tendons but not cutting them or major vein.A 4X8 sheet of 1/2" plywood falling on end of the roof in front of me while I turned away from my project to talk to someone for the moment.Hitting one leg only on a unmarked 220 feed.Another 220 grounding through a water heater strap and shorting out instead of going through me.

                        My most memorable was the one in my early 20's.I was chicaning through the canyons on my GS1100 and hit oil in a high speed turn.It was like a dream,no sound,the bike just floated out from under me,when it grabbed pavement on the other side it went from low side slide to wanting to instantaneously high side.It was out of my hands,a couple of wobbles and head towards the last couple of inches of pavement in the corner before hitting the wall.Huge knee shakes.Time to putt home.

                        So many to give thanks for watching over me.

                        Adam

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                        • #13
                          Re: Close Calls - List yours

                          Setting traps on a commercial fishing boat the line grabbed my wrist and pulled me toward the back of the deck. There was probably about 500 to 1500 pounds already in the water on the end of the line and the boat movement added who knows how much. It slipped off the end of my hand and took my glove down with it. When we picked that line the next day I got my glove back.

                          Was on a "home made" scaffold that my foreman nailed together with the nail gun. It was inside a house addition with 20' ceilings. We were sistering some joists and using bowed 2x8s so we were both pushing upward on the end as hard as we could while he held the nailer and was ready to spike it. When it went we were a good 13' up at our foot level--we looked at each other and fell straight down and both landed on our feet--then our asses. I had about a 30lb tool belt on and there were tools and tool boxes and crap all over the place not to mention the nail gun he was holding. Neither of us said a word. I had roaming pains for the next week or so, but if we had not gone straight down the way we did id could have been worse than bad.


                          Eli
                          A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Close Calls - List yours

                            1990, i was in a small town brite or bright? in australia. i went there to learn parapenting/ paragliding. the class was on a hillside that was used for training. there was the instructor, his assistant, and 8 students.

                            day 1 was going good until the wind picked up. i was already in my paraglider set up. basically a parachute and harness that you use to sail from hilltops, not out of a plane.

                            when the instructor anounced to pack it up, a gust of wind took my chute off the ground, my spotter partner couldn't hold onto me and i went sailing back up the mountain, going head over heals. i rememeber as i was going up in the air and crashing back down, bouncing off my crash helmet and cracking it in half. trying to disable the chute, i finally stopped on the downhill side on the other side of the hill. the whole thing happened in less than 30 seconds, but i remember the whole event like it was yesterday.

                            after that incident, the instructor was amazed i was not seriously hurt. the next day i came back to finish the course, the other 7 students quit after they had watched me the day prior.

                            i compleated the class with flying colors

                            rick.
                            phoebe it is

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                            • #15
                              Re: Close Calls - List yours

                              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                              1990, i was in a small town brite or bright? in australia. i went there to learn parapenting/ paragliding. the class was on a hillside that was used for training. there was the instructor, his assistant, and 8 students.

                              day 1 was going good until the wind picked up. i was already in my paraglider set up. basically a parachute and harness that you use to sail from hilltops, not out of a plane.

                              when the instructor anounced to pack it up, a gust of wind took my chute off the ground, my spotter partner couldn't hold onto me and i went sailing back up the mountain, going head over heals. i rememeber as i was going up in the air and crashing back down, bouncing off my crash helmet and cracking it in half. trying to disable the chute, i finally stopped on the downhill side on the other side of the hill. the whole thing happened in less than 30 seconds, but i remember the whole event like it was yesterday.

                              after that incident, the instructor was amazed i was not seriously hurt. the next day i came back to finish the course, the other 7 students quit after they had watched me the day prior.

                              i compleated the class with flying colors

                              rick.
                              This is just stupidity
                              I love my plumber

                              "My Hero"

                              Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

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