I fully intended to post yesterday and show in detail how the sink counter is attached to the wall and all that blah, blah but work just got the best of me. I have been having to weld up these big goal posts (barricades) in the new freezer area and it's a real pain. It's freezing, literally, in there and I had to use a lift to get up to the steel to weld, so that means wearing all this crap to keep warm and then having to wear a safety harness on top of that because I'm over 6 feet off the ground, so I have like, 10 extra pounds of stuff on me. So, I'm up in this lift welding and I smell something burning and I look down and realize I've set my hardhat on fire. I can't wear it while I'm welding as I have to wear a hood, so I had set it down on the floor of the lift. Well, it was the liner inside the hardhat but, at any rate, flames are coming out of my hardhat. I got that put out but it messed my hat up and my boss had to order me new insides for it. Anytime I set myself or some other thing on fire they always just sigh really hard and slowly shake their heads. I can't help it though! Stuff happens. So, then I get one of my bad migraines towards the end of the day, so when I got home I just had to take some meds and go to bed. I feel better today though.
That whole incident reminded me of some of the stuff that has happened on jobs over the years. I'm always kinda amused when some women I meet say. "oh, I wish I could do the work you do" and I think, weeeelll, maybe you don't. Not that I wouldn't encourage women to give any of the crafts a go, but there is a lot of stuff that happens that I don't think many people would want to go through. Like setting yourself on fire. And it seems that food distribution centers are good for that sort of thing as there is a lot of miscellaneous welding for us in those places. I remember one I was working on several years ago; it was in the summer thankfully. I had to climb up the steel structure about 30 feet and cut some braces out with a torch. I was standing on a 8" beam, 30 feet in the air while cutting steel overhead. Now, I was tied off. We have to wear these elaborate safety harnesses. They strap on sorta like a parachute with one strap across your chest, a padded belt around your waist and a strap around both legs at the crotch. A lanyard attaches to the straps across your back and then to the safety lines or steel. Sometimes when steel is very dirty or rusted it will pop when it is being cut and splatter molten slag all over you and everything and this is what happened. It seemed everything happened in slow motion. I saw the flame pop and the slag spray and then I saw this one very large blob of steel fly up into the air and arch over towards me. It was like a little meteor of glowing, yellow metal plummeting right towards me. Now, when you are tied off like that, at that height, you really can't go anywhere. That lanyard is only 6 feet long and my hands are full. So, I stood frozen as this molten blob descended on me and fell perfectly straight down my shirt. As you can imagine, slag at that temperature is not slowed much by a cotton shirt. It did hang up for just a second when it rung my, um, cleavage but it burnt through my bra and continued down to my waist where it got caught by the tight belt of my harness. Now, when something like this happens you have an automatic response to grab at what is causing you pain, to try to remove it from your body. But I still had that lit torch in one hand, nowhere to put it and was just trying to get the slag away from my skin. With all that twisting though, the slag did move and dropped down into my pants. There it was caught by one of the straps around my legs. Mercifully, it had cooled enough at this point it was no longer burning through my clothing and going further down. However, the strap managed to hold it tightly against my leg as the belt had done. Somehow I did not sling the torch to the ground or step off the beam during the whole thing. After I felt the pain subside (it had burnt the nerves I guess) I turned the torch off, got everything secured and slowly climbed down. The pain came back as I walked to the office trailer though and the guys noticed that I was walking kinda funny. Now, the boss is supposed to look at any semi-serious injury to determine if you need further medial attention but nobody was looking at anything. I just got some antibiotic ointment and sterilizing swabs from the first aid and went to the bathroom. I had to use my pocket knife to dig the last bit of steel out of my thigh where it had settled. It didn't seem something that size could cause that much pain. But, that is just part of the job and after I bandaged up I went back to work. The scars are not very noticeable nowadays although I have had an occasional question from, um, a friend or two about how I got them. They make for an interesting story at least.
I hope no one out there sets themselves on fire and has a great new year celebration if you are planning anything. I have the day off so will try to post again! Happy New Year everybody!