Thursday, January 27, 2005

Ladder Safety at Work

My best workmate had an accident at work :( :( :( He won't be able to work for a couple of weeks at least, and will be in hospital for a few days. At least he didn't break any bones.

I didn't see it happen since I was demoing at the door, when I heard a thump and boxes spilling about. Went in and there he was, sprawled out on top of these boxes. At first I laughed - he is a bit of a joker, it would not be unlike him to do something funny like throwing himself at the piles of boxes and mucking up a stack, though admitedly unlikely with our manager about. It turned out he had fallen from the ladder after something went awry in his upper back. He couldn't move, it was too painful. After making sure he could still wiggle his toes, we tidied up around him. He felt so embarassed to be sprawled on top of these toy boxes* while the occasional customer came through the door.

It took the paramedics about an hour to turn up! I guess that's because unless you sound like you are going to die soon you aren't a high priority. In the meantime he started feeling cold, so we got a blanket, and rubbed his hands. It's very important to keep someone conscious when they've had an accident. I kept him talking or squeaking our bird caller near his head because he was starting/wanting to drift off. Laughing was painful for him but I couldn't help but say something every now and then that made us chuckle - I'm a funny lass ;o) The paras gave him a green plastic thing for him to inhale from. When I asked what it was, they para said it was a bit like legal glue sniffing - I presume it was a painkiller.

The moral of this story is be really careful up ladders;
don't stretch up and twist at the same time,
always make sure you are in a stable standing position,
and ALWAYS have someone spot for you no matter how minor the job. They might not be able to catch you but at least they'll break your fall ;) Seriously, they can make it easier/safer because they enable the ladder climber to keep their hands free as much as possible, can pass up tools etc, can better notice if you can or can't reach something or look like you are in danger, and most importantly they are there for you immediately if anything does go wrong.

*Of all the places in the store to fall it was the 'best' one, because they would have helped to break his fall, absorbing impact by collasping under him and through containing a squishy toy.

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