This is for those who think workplace health and safety is unnecessary – it’s in Spanish, but there’s a translation below.
It’s a letter to an insurance company from a bricklayer explaining how he came to receive a series of horrific injuries on a building site in Pontevedra in the Galicia region of Spain. It is hilarious – at least for us, not so much for the poor builder.
English translation below:
I have been a bricklayer for 10 years.
The day of the accident I was working on my own, laying bricks on the sixth floor of a building under construction in the city.
When I had finished, there were about 250 kilos of bricks left over. Instead of loading them up to take down by hand, I decided to put them in a barrel and lower them with the help of a pulley which was attached to a beam in the roof of the sixth floor.
I went down to the ground floor, tied the barrel with a rope and, with the help of the pulley, winched it up to the sixth floor, tying the end of the rope to a column on the ground floor.
Then I went and loaded the bricks into the barrel. I came downstairs, untied the rope and held on hard so that the 250 kilos of bricks would go down smoothly (I indicate in item #1 of my police statement that my bodyweight is 80 kilos).
To my surprise my feet left the ground and began to rise rapidly, pulled upwards by the rope. Because of the shock, I lost my presence of mind and thoughtlessly stayed clinging to the rope while it climbed at high speed.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down at a rate roughly similar to that of my climb, and I could not avoid the collision. I think this is where I got the fractured skull.
I continued up until my fingers got caught in the roller, resulting in the arrest of my rise and also the multiple broken bones in the fingers and wrist. At this point I had regained my presence of mind and despite the pain, I continued to cling to the rope.
It was then that the barrel hit the ground and broke, spilling the bricks on the ground.
Without any bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 25 kilos, and being lighter I descended rapidly back down to the ground floor. Whilst passing the third floor I met the empty barrel coming up. It was in the clash that ensued where I received the fractures of the ankles and nose.
This clash happily slowed my fall, so that when I landed on the pile of bricks I only broke three vertebrae.
However, I am sorry to report that, when I was lying on the bricks in excruciating pain, unable to move, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. Because the barrel weighed more than the rope, it declined rapidly and fell on my legs, breaking both tibiae.
I hope I have clarified the causes of my injuries.