Factory Workers Reveal The Craziest Things They've Seen On The Job
Factory workers are no strangers to injuries. Some of them are pretty grisly. But sometimes, people avoid calamity. Factories are crazy places.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Somebody didn't take the hint.
Not me, but my dad: he had to take someone at his job to the hospital to get a finger reattached. The day that his co-worker went back to work, he cut off the same finger.
Silly fire codes, who needs 'em?
A spark from welder flew into an area used by the engineers to store materials. It hit a piece of cardboard and caught fire. So the full factory started smoking up - but no fire alarms went off or anything. Half of us kind of made our way outside.
Apparently, some of our team leaders had extinguished it with some difficulty, as that area was locked off by a metal caging. They gave the factory 10 minutes to let some smoke off the floor, and then we were all told to go back to work.
No EMS or anything was ever called, still seems insane to me.???????
Automation can prevent things like this.
My dad runs a factory and one time we were on the road going on vacation and my dad got a call and yelled at my mom to turn the car around. We went to the hospital in my hometown and one of my dad's workers had his entire hand chopped off ): I was like 5 and I can still see this 40-year-old man crying at the hospital. It was so sad to see someone working such a low paying job pay such a high price.
Unraveling a sweater is a lucky break.
Worked in a factory with 10k lbs wooden spools of plastic pipe. Girl pushing full spool down the aisle. Splinter in wood snagged the sweater she was wearing. You cant stop a 10000 lb spool once it starts moving. Spool pulled her sweater and t-shirt off like a Benny Hill gag. Thank god she had the sense to let it take her clothes and not roll over the top of the spool.
My stepdad used to pick snakes out of cranberry bushels.
Happened a week before I started but... A guy was unwrapping a big pallet of parts that had been shipped over from the plant a county away. Apparently, a copperhead snake had slithered into the wrapped up pallet of stuff and wasn't able to get out, so when he cut open the wrapping this angry snake slithered out and bit him. He went to the hospital and was fine, but who the hell expected a poisonous snake to jump out at you indoors??
It's like a light saber crossed with stigmata.
I was working in the shop foreman office as an engineering intern (pulling prints and making copies) when one of the welders walked in and calmly said "Larry, I think I should go to the ER" Larry being the foreman asked why he needed to and the guy holds up his hand and looks through a hole in his palm and says "Because I hurt my hand."
He got his hand pinched in a 45kVa spot welder and after it punched a hole in his hand, the arc neatly cauterized it so it wasn't bleeding.???????
Bruhhhh did that just...
I used to work as a welding inspector, there was a dude grinding on a pipe with a pinch point and the grinding wheel pinched and broke off and glanced off his left eyebrow. Got a couple stitches. We had smoked a joint together twenty minutes earlier and he said the only reason he has his head leaned so far back was coz he was high and it was very loud, had he been in his normal grinding position the blade would have struck him full force square in the face.
Greed is dangerous...
At my previous place of employment, I watched an entire shift of Factory Workers (easily 30-50 people), instantly scramble to shift/hide pallets full compound that was not approved; all so the dummy pallets of more expensive conforming material could be brought to the front for an unannounced inspection by a third party.
People literally running into each other, almost getting run over by forklifts, etc for a good 20-25 minutes. All because the owner was a cheap ass that liked to use cheaper reprocessed compound, but still wanted to charge customers, and book the cost as if the end product was made with virgin material.
The robot revolution is starting.
I once saw a baling (packing) robot totally bale up a guy onto a pallet, ready to be loaded into a truck.
Once we found out he was OK, it was unbelievably funny.
No wonder my parents don't eat bologna...
Many years ago while I was in university I worked in a meat packing plant. From the kill floor, the pigs were divided in half and each half went down two identical lines where bellies, hams, etc were separated out.
At one point the rear of the pig ended up on a conveyor a story and a half up and after whatever processing they did up there the whole hams came down a chute to rejoin the main line.
Guys would walk to the chute, stick their arm in an inspection port and wait for a ham to come down, snapping their arm. Paid time off.
This was the 70's, early 80's so no video surveillance. I guess it was simply a cost of doing business because in the two years I worked there I physically saw it happen twice and heard about it multiple times on other shifts and the line never changed, the ports never locked up, nothing..
But wait...there is more! The station just after those hams came back down was guys with handheld equipment that looked like an angle grinder but that spun (very fast) a circular hacksaw blade. This removed remaining hair and other imperfections from the skin of the ham. Part of my job was to change out those guys buckets full of goo.
Again, over my two years, I witnessed once and heard about at least a couple more times where one guy snapped and used his skinner on the man standing next to him.
As you might imagine the Federal inspectors weren't fond of man goo mixed in with pig goo then mixed into your bologna so that shut the line down for a good long time.
Paid well but employed some real whackos.
The sound of squished foot meat...
I worked in a packing warehouse for a bit while in between jobs. Some dude was trying to forklift a pallet full of concrete blocks and the pallet arms gave out. Somebody had stacked it too high and the weight of the concrete was too much for it to handle. It fell right next to another worker and completely crushed his foot. His foot basically exploded. I've never heard 2 people scream so loud in my entire life. Dude driving the forklift was obviously drug tested and passed the test clean but decided to quit anyway after the incident. I left the factory before the crushed foot victim could make it out of the hospital and come back so I have no idea how he's doing now.
Nothing to see folks, just a roof fire. Carry on.
Back in the mid 90 's, I worked for a major automotive industry, we were not allowed to leave the assembly line unless we had someone to replace us. One night we noticed a lot of unusual movement in the isles, people running up and down, we all noticed this and that's when our supervisor yelled keep working the roof is on fire it's almost contained. Smoke was pretty thick in the area behind us, we just kept working like little slaves we were.
Meh, he's good, just some light forklift hazing.
Warehouse guys pressured someone who had never driven a forklift before (no certification) to try it out. They failed to mention that forklift had no brakes. How you stop it is switching into reverse (Ya I know its bad). Why didn't they tell him? Guy reverses forklift into a gas line that luckily wasn't in use. Holy fuck. Safety meeting and the forklift got fixed after that.
Saved by the net. Barely.
A Volkswagen Atlas was on the conveyor belt in the air, fell out of the harness and landed upside down in the protective cage. We got to take most of the rest of the day off. It was pretty lucky that it wasn't over somebody's head unprotected at the time.
Talk about shattering your world...
I opened 5 tonnes of glass with a guy and it fell on him. His legs and pelvis were crushed. I ran to get the boss, I must have been green because he sent me straight out to wait for the ambulance.
Way to watch out for your workers there, factory...
Worked for an organization where a piece of rigging failed and killed someone who was underneath.
Two years later, my team is brought in from a different plant to consult on improving their safety record at that facility. They showed us the piece of equipment that failed and they were still performing the task in the exact same way as when the person was killed.
That stopped that day.
When I worked in a hydraulics factory where we worked 50+ hours a week, some guy went up to our manager and asked for a day off. I've never seen something so absurd in this industry in my entire life.
Poor snake :(
Worked in UPS for about 6 years. My job was to take boxes off the conveyor belt and set them off to be shipped. This wooden box with these huge metal screws that were clearly exposed inside was shaking. I took it off the conveyor and shook it some more. The box started shaking wildly and I brought my boss and some of the other workers came over. We ended up calling animal control.
So the guy comes and he pries a corner open the tiniest bit. Looks inside and says, "Oh s***" then goes out to his truck to get the sleep dart gun. He pries it open a bit more and without even looking fires five darts off. The box stops shaking and we open it fully. He takes out this snake that's as thick as my arm and is about as long as both of my arms. The things all bloodied up because every time it moved it'd get cut by the screws exposed inside the box. It wiggled around a bit and finally died.
Dude almost sent himself to Belize...
My dad told me a story once, he used to work in this factory that had a big acid vat used for acid washing jigs and what not. The acid apparently was heated to just below boiling, and a guy fell in it waist deep and had to be pulled out. He was screaming and then I guess tried to remove his steel-toed boots and jeans but it was peeling his skin off his body like a rubber glove. The guy went in to shock and they just had to wait for an ambulance to arrive.
Hey, just scrape off the dead flesh.
I worked as a millwright from 99 to 03. I traveled around the US, Canada, and Mexico repairing forging and stamping presses.
I got sent to some plant in Pennsylvania to repair a press. The foreman of the plant was walking me back to the press I had come to look at. We passed row after row of presses on the way. As we passed this one press, a worker had a wide putty knife and was scraping something off the die. It was on there pretty good and he was having some trouble with it. The guy was acting like it was plutonium or something and trying not to touch it while scraping it off. I asked the foreman what he was doing and he says" we had a guy get his hand in there when the press came down". The guy was scraping the other guy's flat hand off the die.???????
We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.