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Thread: Workplace fails

  1. #1
    Speedster Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
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    Workplace fails

    Alright, I don't care if you're a gardener or a senior manager, we have all experienced workplace fails. Some of them are harmless and laughable while others tend to get a lot more brutal (injuries, lost jobs, etc.) What I'm asking is for anyone out there to share some of their stories on the subject. It's a fairly broad topic so I shouldn't expect to see a lack of material!
    Last edited by Stude Shoo-wop!; 02-09-2018 at 09:12 PM.
    Jake Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

    1962 GT Hawk - completely finished in driveable condition.

  2. #2
    President Member ddub's Avatar
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    Here's one to start.

    This one happened 1959 at Scott Paper Mill in Everett, WA. As you might imagine there was a giant warehouse full of packaged finished products in cardboard cartons. These were moved by what we called clamp trucks, essentially a fork lift with jaws on the front which could grab a stack of boxes. A worker called over a clamp truck and had him grab a stack of boxes and he climbed on top of the boxes. He then had the driver lift the boxes up where he could close a window that was letting rain in. I no longer recall exactly how high but in the 12 to 15 foot range. When the window was closed, instead of lowering the boxes the driver opened the clamps dropping boxes and worker to the floor. The boxes of TP cusioned the fall but the man was still injured.
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

    40 Champion 4 door*
    50 Champion 2 door*
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    55 President Speedster
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    * Formerly owned

  3. #3
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    Here is an old one Jake:
    Dear Sir,
    I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block #3 of the accident reporting form. I put "Poor Planning" as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.
    I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I found I had some bricks left over which when weighed later were found to weigh 240 lbs. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.
    Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 240 lbs of bricks. You will note on the accident reporting form that my weight is 135 lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.
    In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collarbone, as listed in Section 3, accident reporting form. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley which I mentioned in Paragraph 2 of this correspondence. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience.
    At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and severe lacerations of my legs and lower body.
    Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.
    I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope. And I lay there watching the empty barrel begin its journey back onto me.
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  4. #4
    Silver Hawk Member Chris Pile's Avatar
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    ^^^^ classic! ^^^^
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    During my working career I have accumulated quite a few stories. I was in construction and drove a concrete truck during the early years and then spent the next 39 years working as a test technician in a hazardous test facility for NASA. One story I will share is somewhat humorous. When we worked with hazardous propellants we were required to send in our protective suits for service periodically for cleaning and leak-checking. The leak-check required that the relief valves on the suit be plugged before pressurizing. When my suit was returned for service the plugs were inadvertently left in. When the next test that was run I had to use the suit. The test engineer helped me get in the suit then zipped it up. The suit typically ran at 115p.s.i. to provide breathing air. As the suit began to fill, I kept waiting for the valves to start relieving. Nothing happening. Pretty soon I am looking like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I can't get out of the suit unless I cut myself out. The engineer is busy helping another tech. into his suit. I am beginning to think this is not good if the suit lets go at this pressure and I am in it. Finally, I get the engineer to turn around and shut off the air and let me out. From that point on I always checked to be sure that the plugs were removed and I had way to extricate myself if this ever occurred again.

  6. #6
    President Member Lark8girl's Avatar
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    It was a nice sunny day and no customers were present so the car salesman at the Dodge dealership decided to play some baseball on the car lot. This went well till I hit the ball really well and drove it thru a big showroom window. We all cleaned up the glass from the hole in the window and wondered how to explain that.
    The next morning the sales manager showed the dealer a large rock he "said" he found on the showroom floor.

    At a Chevrolet dealership two big salesman thought they could lift the rear wheels of a new Chevy GEO Metro off the showroom floor. They each lifted the car off the floor by the rear wheel wells and that car POPPED LIKE A POP CAN!! When the dealer found the car damaged on both rear quarters he sent it to the body shop and ALL SALESPEOPLE involved made GEO METRO PAYMENTS of $29.00 weekly till the damage was paid for. We all kidded each other , " Still makin those Metro Payments"

    Husband of Lark VIII girl.
    Last edited by Lark8girl; 02-10-2018 at 12:36 PM. Reason: mistake

  7. #7
    President Member junior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark8girl View Post

    At a Chevrolet dealership two big salesman thought they could lift the rear wheels of a new Chevy GEO Metro off the showroom floor. They each lifted the car off the floor by the rear wheel wells and that car POPPED LIKE A POP CAN!! When the dealer found the car damaged on both rear quarters he sent it to the body shop and ALL SALESPEOPLE involved made GEO METRO PAYMENTS of $29.00 weekly till the damage was paid for. We all kidded each other , " Still makin those Metro Payments"

    Husband of Lark VIII girl.
    Hey, the exact same thing happened to a Chevy Sprint in the showroom of the dealership I worked at in 1989...for some reason the receptionist wanted it moved over about 2ft from its location, and being winter and all, and having a Corvette in the way that needed the battery ground connected we (sales staff) were too lazy to shovel snow and move the vette outside so we decided to lift up the Sprint and scoot it over a bit. We didn't realize we even damaged it, until a few days later the owner of the dealership wanted the new car manager to explain how both quaters of the Sprint got damaged. The manager had no idea what happened as he was not on duty the night it happened, so they assumed it was some sort of shipping damage that had gone undetected. Car was repaired in house at the bodyshop, have no idea who took the hit for the tab. All kind of innocent I guess, but nobody ever spoke up and told the real story. cheers, junior

    1954 C5 Hamilton car.

  8. #8
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    Not a result of employee horseplay, but I was busy checking in a Dodge D150 Pickup about 1985 that had just been backed off the carrier. Luckily, our truck was in the #2 position. The Cassens Driver seemed very concerned about the forward facing truck in the #1 position, as we both noticed the windshield had been smashed. But no roof line damage was evident. He climbed up to the truck, and quickly came back down and asked to use our phone to call Cassens. That Turkey Buzzard he'd seen a few miles back didn't get enough altitude as he approached, and the smelly bird was sprawled dead across the front seat of the brand new truck.

  9. #9
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    The work place was outdoors, on a small gravel road, in an alleyway, in the late 1960s. I had bought a pair of, "shackles" from a friend who no longer wanted then on his 55-56 Chevy wagon. Shackles, back then, were extra length replacements for factory shackles on the rear springs. To install the shackles, I had the black 56J's rear end jacked as high as the bumper jack would take it, and the jack was maxed out on the stalk. As I walked by the jack to crawl under the car, the jack suddenly jumped out from under the bumper, and the top end of the stalk caught the side of my knee.

    I still have about a 2" scar on my knee, but if I'd been up under the 56J when the jack jumped out, I probably would not be here today !

  10. #10
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    Back in the 70s when I was telling my auto parts boss (a former mechanic) that I liked Studebakers, he said he had some bad experiences with them, not because they were Studebakers, but because of human error. One story he told was when he was running a repair garage with a twin post lift, and a young kid he had hired started to lift the Studebaker to do some work on it. But then he decided to take a smoke break and stood outside the garage door smoking and watching the traffic go by. Unbeknownst to him, he only had the rear post in operation and the Studebaker was up as high as it could be in the rear, and the front bumper almost touching the ground. My boss came out of the office or somewhere and saw what was happening and responded by going up behind the kid and giving him a good swift size 9 boot right up his a__. Then he slowly coaxed the Studebaker down without it falling off the lift, and it was tricky but he did it. He said it was up so high in the back that the battery water was running out of it.

  11. #11
    President Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    Working on & with ships can be "exiting"...

    Once I was cutting down a big frame that went from side-to-side over the wheelhouse + two bars down to the rear of a ship that we built back from clam-fisher to original cargo vessel.
    I' had got the rear ones lose & the one that was towards the keyside, & that one was stuck by rust so I had to bang it of REAL hard.
    So while laying my head on my fav sledge-hammer on the big steeringbox I started to cut the other side... & suddenly I felt a pressure on my head... Getting harder by the second...
    The whole thing had slided over the side & was comming down on my head & it was way to heavy for me to even pull myself free!!!
    Sonja was down in the front & there was one more shipguy way over yonder on land & man did I scream...
    It was awfully heavy but Sonja is stronger than most people think!
    & the memory of the sounds in my head is forever in my memory & the inside of my mouth was black instead of red.
    BUT: if it had been the other side of the ship without the keyside to stop it...

    Thing is; when you haven't done stuff before, you don't know what to expect.

    This on the other hand...
    3 years ago I was cutting a small H-balk & holding it on the rail on our tug, using anglegrinder, when it caught hold on my sweater!
    I now have a white strip on the inside of my left arm... A wee bit deeper or 1 inch closer to the hand & I would've never been able to play guitar again.


    Josephine
    -55
    Champion V8
    4d sedan

  12. #12
    President Member Jeff_H's Avatar
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    1994 I was working at a small R&D engineering company. We were working with liquid propane and the boss had some sort of joint effort going with a well known mfg of automotive fuel pumps as used in EFI. The goal was to check out the wear rate of pumps operating in liquid propane vs gasoline (gasoline is a lubricant! for said pumps). So, we had this about 4-5' long section of gas pipeline pipe about 2' or so diameter with flanges on the ends and caps with about 20+ big bolts. We had a rack inside with 10 pumps setup with a pressure rated wiring pass-through to power them. Also as part of the test was the associated float level senders. There was more to the test, but the important (for this story) part is about once a month, we'd remove a barbecue tank amount of propane to be analyzed for contamination (wear particles from the pumps) and also 1 of the pumps itself. That pump went to the mfg for tear down.

    The pipe was on a framework that was parked outside on a side loading dock that was not being used and the wiring for everything went through a port-hole we made in the door to the inside where the monitoring hardware and computer was. We didn't want this setup inside the building for obvious reasons!

    To R&R the pump rack, the 20+ bolts got removed and we took off this heavy end cap and then put it back together afterwards. After a couple of months (and several R&R's) the flat rubber gasket sandwiched between the pipe flange and the cap was getting iffy looking so a new one was put in.

    A couple of days after the test was restarted, a bunch of us happened to be taking a break outside (it was a nice early spring morning) and we were maybe 100' away by another garage door when a BIG POP/BANG like a rifle shot went off and we looked in horror as a geyser of liquid propane was shooting about 30' in the air off the end cap of the test tank! It was obviously turning to vapor pretty rapidly.

    Someone grabbed a fire extinguisher (dunno if that would have helped!) and I hightailed it into the building and ran to the area where the power to the test rig was and cut the electrical power going into it.

    We all then watched from a "safe" distance the propane vent out while crossing our fingers no spark, etc would occur until it was all done.

    Fortunately, no spark or additional drama occurred.

    A postmortem found that the new gasket had "squirted" out between 2 of the flange bolts and that is what caused the leak. Some phone calls were made and it was found out that the gasket was supposed to have some glue put on one side before assembly.

    A new gasket, with glue! was done and the test ran again for several months until it was done.

    Jeff in ND

  13. #13
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    My helper replaced an automatic trans in a car.It went pretty quickly,and he mentioned it really lined up with the crankshaft easily.As I walked around the car,I noticed 2 torque converters on the floor,the old one,and the new one!
    Oglesby,Il.
    Buy a smart car,I need your gas.

  14. #14
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    This afternoon....

    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Classic!

    I remember my first (attempt) to change the oil on Dad's Studebaker Hawk....
    Did a nice job.
    He went to drive to the store and got to the end of the driveway and the Hawk stopped.
    Ran fine. Wouldn't move. He pushed it back into the driveway and opened the hood.
    Checked the dipstick. It was about two inches above the full mark.
    Yep. I drained the trans pan and added more engine oil.
    Hey... Oil all looks the same when you're 13...


    Quote Originally Posted by 52hawk View Post
    My helper replaced an automatic trans in a car.It went pretty quickly,and he mentioned it really lined up with the crankshaft easily.As I walked around the car,I noticed 2 torque converters on the floor,the old one,and the new one!
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  16. #16
    President Member ddub's Avatar
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    That reminds me of our first power mower. Some time in the late 50s my dad decided the push mower was too much work and bought a power reel mower from sears. He didn't think a rotary mower would do a good job, not that we had a nice lawn anyway. He brought it home, gassed it up and mowed away... until the engine siezed. No oil.
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

    40 Champion 4 door*
    50 Champion 2 door*
    53 Commander K Auto*
    53 Commander K overdrive*
    55 President Speedster
    62 GT 4Speed*
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    64 Champ 1/2 ton

    * Formerly owned

  17. #17
    President Member Studedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
    This afternoon....
    'Didn't know the CE had a J hook.

    Dave Lester

  18. #18
    Speedster Member toymobile's Avatar
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    Back in the early 60s I had a neighbor that blew a head gasket on his 6 cyl Studi, he wanted me to change the gasket without resurfacing the head, I protested but he said he couldn't afford it, I told him it was his money but chances are the gasket would blow again.

    The real surprise came when he demanded I use a permatex gasket sealer, I don't know where that car is now but if it hasn't been crushed THAT HEAD IS STILL STUCK to the block.

    Johnny

  19. #19
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    As a teenager I worked at a Boron station pumping gas & doing oil changes. The oil drained into a portable tank on wheels. It was filled beyond capacity & used oil was running down the sides of the unit and onto the floor. No problem, I just hosed it all down. What a mess! Of course the boss showed up and slid right through the oil slick while he was angrily evicting a former employee from the bay. He landed right on his keister in the middle of my lame cleanup attempt.

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