This is a bricklayer's accident report, which was printed in the
newsletter of the Australian equivalent of the Workers' Compensation
Board. This is a true story. Had this guy died, he'd have received a
Darwin Award for sure

Dear Sir,
I am writing in response to your request for additional information
In Block 3 of the accident report form. I put "poor planning" as the
cause of my accident. You asked for a fuIIer explanation and I trust the
following details 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 that I had some bricks Left over
which, when weighed later were found to be slightty in excess of 500lbs .
Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in
a barrel by using a puIley, which was attached to the side of the
building on the sixth floor.
Securlng the rope at ground I went up to the roof, swungl the barrel
out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope,
holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the bricks.
You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I weigh
135 Ibs .
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 explained
the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collar bone, as
Listed in section 3 of the accident report form.
Slowed only slightIy, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until
the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the puIley.
Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was
able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of beginning to experience
At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the
ground and the bottom feII out of the barreL. Now devoid of the
weight of the bricks (that barrel weighed approximately 500lbs) I refer you again to my weight.
As you can imagine, I began a rapid descent, down the side of the
In the vicinity of the third fIoor, I met the barrel coming up. This
accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and several
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 fortunate]y 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, I again lost my composure and presence of mind
and Iet go of the rope and I lay there watching the empty barrel begin
it's journey back down onto me. This explains the two broken legs.
I hope this answers your inquiry.
Kevin Roben
Wagga Glass e Aluminium Pty Ltd
PO Box 5004 (11 Dobney Ave)
Wagga Wagga NSW 2550