On a cold and stormy night, deep in the dark woods of Transylvania, a mason, her apprentice, and their project manager found themselves perched atop a towering cathedral. They’d hoped to finish that evening their renovations on the stone gargoyles which grimly guarded the periphery of the imposing facility’s upper levels.
Holding a torch for and handing tools to his master, the young apprentice’s eyes darted about. The old cathedral frightened him in the daylight. And now, listening to the howling winds echo through the stone, the young man shivered in fright! He dared not peer over the edge or get too close to the lifelike stone teeth which his master chiseled expertly.
The project manager was proud that his coworkers were dedicated to finishing their project on time, but the night and the height had left even this tenured professional on edge. He fidgeted with the vellum document which contained the renovation’s specifications and inched ever further from the edge of the tower, upon which they worked.
Only the mason was undaunted. She had worked among the stars and moon many nights before on much scarier stones. In fact, she was frustrated by her apprentice’s reticence to observe her work more closely.
Regrettably, the year was 1402, and no concise Occupational Safety and Health organizations had been established. So when a colony of bats suddenly swooped down from the belfry of the tower, the project manager shrieked a blood-chilling shriek, frightening the apprentice, who bumped into his master, who tumbled over the stone precipice, which she herself had carved!
The apprentice and project manager crept speechless to the 28-inch stone guard rail—far shorter than the 42 inches mandated by OSHA 1910.29(b)(1)—and looked into the dreadful abyss below. No trace of the master mason could be seen.
Some say her ghost still haunts the old church site, now Romania’s most popular McDonald’s. Others contend that her ghastly visage visits construction sites to ward workers off from working above six feet without proper fall protection! Still others hold that she survived the fall by clinging to a lower tier of protective gargoyles, her grotesque stone pets, and later moved north, where she found great success laying cobblestones but never again approached such a dizzying height!
But at any rate, make sure that no matter what horrors await you on your own job site this spooky Halloween season, you and your coworkers do everything you can to make your workplace safe! Hill International’s Cloaked Keeper of the OSHA Tomes, Bill Mueller, says that the realest ghouls of any jobsite are those accidents that spring up out of neglected situational awareness. Bill advises that you always keep your wits about you while driving, walking, climbing, kneeling, or standing on any active job site. The dread Keeper thunders, “Know well that each and every choice thou makest doth matter, for to get thee safely home, dressed up, and giving out candy this Halloween and every other, ad infinitum!”
Hill International wishes a happy and safe Halloween to all the vampires, ghosts, and goblins working on construction jobs around the world!