Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Jobs I Would Rather Not Do

While on an excursion to the big city, I observed some people performing jobs which would not be my first pick.

Window washer - First there's the heights thing, although that's a training issue and can be overcome. Then there's the issue of dropping your squeegee or your I-pod. Knowing my luck, my squeegee would fall and impale Larry H. Parker and the resulting litigation would force me to sell my jeep, camera and two of three wiener dogs. That's a price too high for me.

Crane Rigger - Again there's the heights thing and the tool thing and now there's the swaying in the breeze thing.  The construction super told me that when the wind blows above a certain speed, the crane will sway. He could have been bullshitting me, but he really had no reason to. This gentleman is preparing to run cable out to the end of the arm, part of the assembly process.

The above shot was taken directly overhead, about 200 above me. I really should not have been standing there, but stupid me, I wanted the shot.

I guess this rigger has a pretty cush job. His feet were hanging out of the cab the whole time I was there. He is probably waiting on the other guy to finish running the cable. If I had to be a crane rigger, this assignment probably wouldn't be too bad.

Thanks to the construction super for not throwing me off of the job site until after I took the photos. Thanks to the guy running cable for not dropping his I-pod on me.

Thanks to you for reading.


  1. I work on these type of cranes occasionally and they really do move either from wind or picking heavy loads. Lets just say I prefer modern cranes of German orgion to some of the older stock still in use and am very careful about using my fall arrest equipment.

    If you might have to respond to an incident involving a tower crane talk to the Contractor about setting up an oppotunity to dill on on one. You should also study up on Suspension Trauma/Orthostatic Intolerance, hanging in a fall arrest harness does nasty things to ones physiology and your patient/victim might surprise you.

  2. JEMS has a good article on Suspension Trauma at .

  3. Thanks Ross for the comments. I hope our technical rescue team would be up to the task as they would be heading up the rescue group. The squadies would be the medical group supervisors and I would be the hand wringing group manager!

  4. I used to be a Tower Tech during my college years when I was really big into rock climbing; that was also during the boom of cellular phone sales and startup companies after the switch from analog to digital. Anything and everything that was vertical in nature was breeding ground for the new cellphone antennas. It was a pretty diverse job, retrofitting everything from a water tower in Sheboygan, to hanging off a hospital in downtown Chicago the next day. Needless to say, the OSHA safety requirements today are much stricter than they were back then... I can completely relate to Ross when he talks about the movement of his crane; some of these really big towers that you see can move from the slightest breeze like your drunk uncle doing the chicken dance at your cousin's wedding... We are thankfully getting our paramedics cross-trained in Technical Rescue, since we have now merged with the rescue squad into county-wide Emergency Services.