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Days Without An Injury: 92

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Dutch View Post

    I work with stuff that can mangle you on a daily basis including saw blades. I'm also a fairly careful person in the shop. That being said, I have stuck my finger in a bandsaw blade. Fortunately I got lucky and it didn't leave lasting damage, but it was nasty. If it had been a table saw, it would not have ended so well. It would be nice to have a backup system in place.
    Haha, yeah, I used to be a pipefitter. I have a couple of scars above my left hand index finger 1st joint where a portaband skipped and hopped up the threads of some all-thread rod I was cutting for pipe hangers. I needed stitches, but I wasn't gonna leave the other guy there alone for the day to work alone while I sat in a nice air conditioned hospital room getting a couple of stitches, so I just wrapped some duct tape around it and kept on chugging. You get in the habit of doing something with a tool repetitively, and without even realizing it, eventually you aren't paying full attention to it. And you only realize that you weren't when the blood starts flying, lol. And I know it's true, because I did it on at least 3 different occasions. And every time I was like, "FUCK! AGAIN!?!"

    You wanna talk about stupid work boo-boo's. I was using a brazing torch to weld up some refrigerant pipe on a commercial job. It was in a really really awkward spot, and I was always made sure to weld everything right THE FIRST TIME, because leaks might not get past inspection when you pump the system up with nitrogen and pressure test it, but it's a pain in the ass to find them and takes time that could be used on ANOTHER job somewhere else. Anway, I was flat on my back outside staring up at the summer sun. I had to kinda shimmy my shoulders to get under some electrical conduit and then be able to eyeball where I was welding, which was about 5 inches from my fucking face. Not fun. But when I went to get up, my forehead bumped the piece of 2+ inch copper pipe that I just heated to a white hot glow in order to get the silver solder to melt into the joint. I ended up having a nice brown blotchy Gorbachev blister on my forehead for about 2 months. Wearing a hardhat pressed on it, and hardhats are OSHA REQUIRED on commercial jobs, no getting away with not wearing one.

    Was on a job running AC units to some new dorms at Kennesaw State Univ. just NW of Atlanta. The guys doing the steel and structural shit were all Mexican dudes, and if you've ever worked around a bunch of Mexicans, you know they tend to be shorter than white dudes. So in the attic (where we were running pipe from the outside rooftop compressors to the inside units) they screwed all the horizontal steel structural hat channel pieces just about at eye level for them, which made all us white guys have to DUCK every 2 steps to get around the attic. And it was the middle of summer, we were indoors where it was HOT AS HELL, so we took our hardhats off since no one could see us to yell at us for it, and no one was gonna be dropping shit on our heads with the roof literally right above our heads. So several of us ended up slicing the tops of our heads open on the sharp edge of this god damn thin metal channel bullshit... including ME. I bled EVERY-FUCKING-WHERE! It was hot as shit, I was drinking tons of water to keep from passing out, so my blood was nice and thin, which made the bleeding worse. It looked like a murder scene. Another guy went to his truck and got me a bath towel that I wrapped around my head until the bleeding stopped. When I stopped, I tossed the towel in the floor of my truck, and went back to work. By the time I got off work, the smell of the blood all over that towel baking in the hot sun inundated the entire cab of my truck and made it smell like there was a dead body rotting in there for a week, haha! I needed stitches for it, but at that time, I was a pot smoker, so I knew going for stitches on work time meant they'd drug test me for the insurance and then I'd get fired. So I just said fuck it and left it to heal on its own. Still have a bit of a scar across the top of my skull to this day. And every day after that, all my co-workers called me by my new nickname: Crackhead. Which made me laugh even more when the exact same shit happened to them a few days later.

    Came close to permanently blinding myself helping another steamfitter at a church job a couple of years before that. It was a bright sunny day. We were running some steel pipe in an outside trench from the mechanical room to the cooling tower. I had to hold the fittings and prefab pieces level while he tacked them in place with a tig welder. While he'd finish off the welds after tacking them, I'd stand there smoking a cig. Like I said, the sun was very bright, no clouds that day, so apparently I didn't notice that the light from him welding was hitting my eyeballs even though I wasn't looking directly at it. By the time qutting time rolled around, my eyeballs started burning like a MOOOOOOOOOTHERFucker. I got in my car and headed home, and by the time I got onto the expressway, I could barely hold my eyes open anymore. And I drove all the way home through rush hour traffic in downtown Atlanta like that. It's a wonder I made it home without killing anyone. The next few days, my eyes burned like hell. And by the time the burning stopped the next week, I was seeing double out of my right eye. Before that, I had perfect 20/20 vision. Ever since then,... not at all. Can't see shit that's far away or small, and I still see double out of my right eye especially when its dark. Moral of the story... you ain't gotta stare at someone welding for it to fuck you up. Even out of the corner of your eye for prolonged periods it can burn your retinas out. Welding helmets ain't used just because it's cool to look like darth vader. Them pretty sparkley lights is mean sumbitches. My cocky ass used to tack shit together with a tig welder with my eyes closed and just going by feel because it was quicker than reaching over to throw my visor on. Not after that though. I don't even trust my closed eyelids against that stuff anymore.
    Last edited by Focalor; 04-09-2017, 10:19 PM.


    • #17
      IMO my stupidest work boo-boo wasn't my fault at all. I was holding a joint so someone else could nail it with a framing nail gun and they sent the nail straight into my hand. I know that doesn't sound that bad but, the nails were ringshank and it tore my hand meat up nicely while trying to pull my hand off the nail. The nail also hit the bone making it hurt like holy hell. In a lot of ways this probably wasn't my nastiest boo-boo but, it was seriously the worst pain I have ever felt and it hurt for a long time (weeks and weeks). It still hurts sometimes when the weather gets cold.


      • #18
        MAN rule #11

        Bandaids!?! Fuck that shit! Duct tape is better than a bandaid.