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PostHeaderIcon The daily grind!

“He really got caught up in his work.”

(01 March 2000, Maine) The owner of the Carrier Chipping Company inadvertently

reproduced the chilling climactic scene in the movie Fargo, and was rent

asunder by his own wood chipper.

The chipper, affectionately known as the “Hog,” will take birch or maple logs

up to 24 inches in diameter and reduce them to 3/4″ chips of wood. Employees

were working late to make up for time spent repairing equipment malfunctions

earlier in the day. When the Hog jammed, Michael climbed the conveyor belt

feeding the chipper and used a rake to break up the bark jam in the chute.

Director C. William Freeman of the Bangor Occupational Safety and Health

Administration said, “Generally, our experience (of fatal accidents involving

chippers) has found two causes: inadequate machine guarding, or a failure to

institute an effective lockout-tagout program when someone is unjamming pieces

of equipment.” Apparently Michael was not a proponent of lockout-tagout

procedures. His efforts were directed against a machine that was still in

operation.

The Skowhegan resident was somewhat the worse for the wear after his passage

through the Hog. Police Chief Butch Asselin said that the remains would be

subjected to DNA analysis for a positive ID, and added “I hope I never, ever

see anything like this, ever again. I had a hard time sleeping last night.”


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