Author Topic: Wear a safety harness.  (Read 6614 times)

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Offline Squirl

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Wear a safety harness.
« on: November 07, 2012, 06:09:57 AM »
I have not posted much.  Difficulty typing.

I was roofing my house the last week in September.
I was on the second to last sheet.
A light rain started to fall.
I realized it was dangerous so I started to climb down.
I slid and fell head first off the edge.
I lucked out and put my hands up to break the fall.
I crushed both wrists, dislocated both hands, broke the tips of both arms, and took a chip out of my hip socked.
My arms are held in place by external fixators.


As embarrassing as the story is, I wanted to share it so others don't learn the hard way.
Wear a safety harness.

Offline archimedes

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 06:20:35 AM »
I was wondering what happened to you.  I was afraid it might be something like this.

Were you alone when this happened?

Glad you survived,  get well soon.

Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough,  and I will move the world.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 06:24:21 AM »
Sorry to hear about that. You could have been killed.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesnít mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline Erin

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 07:05:59 AM »
Personally, I'm scared of heights.  There's no way I'd be on a roof without a safety harness.
I can barely climb a ladder without needing one!  lol 


I'm so glad you're alive to tell the tale, Squirl! (and not paralyzed, crippled or any of the other myriad of ways this could have gone so much worse).  I hope everything knits the way it needs to.
The wise woman builds her own house... Proverbs 14:1

Offline UK4X4

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 08:22:44 AM »
ouch !

sorry to hear of your accident, and hope things mend swiftly and with no long term damage.

Climbing harness...check !

Offline Windpower

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 01:23:37 PM »
Squirl

I am very sorry to hear this

I was keeping up with your build ... wondered what happened

Take care and heal up for next year

How did you get to a hospital ?   you were not alone,  I trust.
Often, our ignorance is not as great as our reluctance to act on what we know.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 01:42:59 PM »
Sorry about the fall.  I can't count the near misses I have had but survived.  Lucky I guess.  When I was full speed at the cabin on scaffolding and roof my wife would gringe everytime her phone rang at work thinking that I was enroute to the emergency room.  Most of the time I was a lone worker which made it worse.  Several people have died not necessarily from the fall but the lasped time before discovery. 

Take care and mend fast but don't overdo it getting back to work until you are COMPLETELY healed.  Experience talking.

Offline flyingvan

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 05:03:46 PM »
Good luck with your healing and thanks for posting the warning. 
Find what you love and let it kill you.

Offline ColchesterCabin

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2012, 05:35:10 AM »
OMG Squirl, I hope you heal up okay. We just finished the roof with roof jacks and staging and we just used a rope attached to the pier opposite side of the roof. Hindsight would have used a harness, but at the same stroke realized the roof 24' high 12/12 pitch was no place for me. I have a couple of moments so I think I'll hire out my steel roof instalation in the spring.

I second Red I severed the tennion to my wrist several years ago and I went back to work too early, it has never healed properly, same thing with my rotator cuff last fall. It is still giving me grief. So please do take the necessary time to heal. I know it may be frustrating but will be worth it to heal properly.
Visit my thread would love to have your input http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=12139.0
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Offline MushCreek

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2012, 12:38:03 PM »
Sorry to hear about your accident, Squirl- Hope you heal soon! I use a harness all the time, but the transition of getting up on the roof and back off is scary, because at some point you have to take the harness off. I use a lot of extra energy and time just making sure I am safe.

When I had my barn framed, the workers walked along the top of the 2X6 wall some 14' off the ground, with nothing to hold on to at all. No thanks!
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline waggin

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2012, 03:31:03 PM »
Sorry to hear about your fall.  After reading this initially, it made me think about everything I've been doing at height over the last couple of days and questioning every move/lean/balance/support while using power tools and being up on the ladder.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. (Red Green)

Offline Alan Gage

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 05:11:09 AM »
Wow, what a bummer.

Wearing a harness is a good thing but people should also be aware that depending on the style of harness they can kill you too if you're left to dangle for more than a few minutes without someone to assist you up/down.

http://www.twu562.org/Safety/Suspension%20Trauma.pdf

Alan

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 07:49:46 AM »
OUCH!  I'm sorry to hear that Squirl and hope you heal quickly and well!

Offline Squirl

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2012, 02:44:59 PM »

Thank you all for the well wishes and support. I am sincerely touched.  I am sorry I didnít respond sooner.  I had surgery to remove the fixators.  I can wear a long sleeved shirt and coat again.

Another mistake probably was I was working alone.  I remained mostly conscious through the incident.  After I fell I was hoping to walk it off.  I took a look at my hands and realized they werenít suppose to be bent like that.  I knew it was a trip to the hospital.  I called for help twice and realized how fantastically pointless it was. I was in the middle of nowhere and no one was around.  That is the other side of the alone in the wilderness dream.  No help. I was wet, lightly dressed, clinging to consciousness, with two dislocated hands, crushed wrists, broken arms, what I later found out was a broken hip and the sun had just set with temperatures falling.  I didnít have a lot of options.  I picked myself up and put one foot in front of the other to stagger myself to the road.  That was when I was most concerned.  This way if I passed out from shock, a car would most likely drive by within an hour or two.  I made it to the nearest neighbor.  I had to knock with my head.

Yeah Iím lucky.  The doctors made it very clear that if I hadnít put my arms up it would have been my neck.  They said the best case scenario would be I would be drooling on myself for the rest of my life.  Iíd probably rather be dead.  In reality no one would have looked for me for a day and the shock combined with the other factors, I would have died a slow cold death from hypothermia.

Offline John Raabe

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2012, 03:47:54 PM »
Boy, what a story Squirl.

"I was in the middle of nowhere and no one was around.  That is the other side of the alone in the wilderness dream."

Lots of people have posted here, but I'm sure I speak for all our members when I say we are thankful it wasn't worse and we will take your safety message to heart.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 04:06:19 PM by John Raabe »
None of us are as smart as all of us.

Offline firefox

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2012, 06:00:57 PM »
Welcome back Squirl. I have been trying to aquire safety gear for awhile now to prepare for my build in a year or two. This really helps to reafirm that I am not just being overly cautious.
Bruce
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Offline MushCreek

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2012, 02:49:53 AM »
Being alone makes it much, much worse. What a scary story! I check in with my wife regularly by cell phone. If I don't call at the appointed times, there are several local people (including next door) she can call to check on me. Assuming I survived a major accident, at least I know that help is eventually on the way.

She and I will both be greatly relieved when the roof is finished!
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline PEG688

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2012, 07:32:51 AM »
 Makes my advice to Mush creek on his "Getting sheathing onto the roof" thread  seem spot on!

Sorry to hear about your fall, hope you heal up quickly!

 Best of luck. 
When in doubt , build it stout with something you know about .

Offline upndown

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2012, 03:57:49 PM »
Squirl, Glad to hear your on the mend!! Makes me look back at some of the things i've done with no one around..Even something as simple as ladder work. Thanks for the eye opener!!

Offline Checi

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2012, 09:58:53 AM »
ooooooo, so sorry to hear this but so glad you survived.

A long time ago at work, we had to do "Fall safety training" and I remembered this one small but powerful point that was made during the course: It takes less than a 6 foot fall to kill a person.   

Offline old_guy

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2012, 09:57:10 AM »
Squirl;

Sorry to hear that you took a spill - delighted that you have only injuries which should (substantially) heal.  If it is any consolation, your misfortune will probably prevent others here from a similar fate.

I took a ladder ride a few years back and shattered the radial head in my elbow along with breaking a bone in my wrist.  I learned 2 significant things while healing.
1) there is nothing worth watching on television during the daytime.
2) Do your physical therapy!  Don't ever make an excuse to miss a session, or to do less that you should.  I was told to expect about 80% of normal range of motion, and ended up with 100%.  The doctors said it was probably because I was so aggressive and consistent with my therapy.  I still have things to do with this old body, and am glad I made the effort.

PT is tedious and usually not fun, but EVERY person I know who has skimped on their therapy ended up with permnent pain or permanent reductions in limb usefullness.

Offline Don_P

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2012, 07:02:09 AM »
I feel your pain Squirl, sometimes more than I otter. On PT do check your policy, mine was limited to 20 visits/year, I was about $3K over the limit when those bills started hitting my mailbox. At $300/hr they can clean house quick.

Offline old_guy

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2012, 10:32:24 AM »
Regarding the PT - I stayed well within the allowable visits, but was able to get good information from the therapist regarding doing exercises on my own.  Paying attention to the therapist and asking a lot of questions let me do effective therapy without paying the big bucks.

No reason to tie the elastic to their fancy wall hook for the resistance exercises.  Tie them to a doorknob and work out at home.  I even tied one to the inner passenger armrest on my truck, and exercised my elbow during my long commute.

Just learn the correct way to work the injured limb and do it.

I need to look at harnesses.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2012, 11:12:24 AM »
Quote
Just learn the correct way to work the injured limb and do it.


Correct method is key. When I was shown what to do and what NOT to do last year when I had a hip issue it did not take all that long. (I never broke anything, just misused / abused a muscle.


Karen had an issue with a knee. When she went into PT and told them she did not have insurance that covered that hardly at all, she got lucky and one of the therapists showed her what to do in a corner of the waiting room. I was amazed at that; this is the biggie local health care provider in the area.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesnít mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline considerations

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Re: Wear a safety harness.
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2012, 05:25:35 PM »
Yikes...humbling...can you return the Superman cape?

Now when people tease me as being overly cautious...I can just smile, and think of you.

Could have been any one of us in a fleeting moment of distraction.

I hope it hurt less than I imagine.