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Monday, 25 June, 2007

(with comments)

Photos of Ironworkers in the sky.

This is not the kind of job where you can enjoy a two martini lunch.

(via Metafilter)

Permalink | Posted in Visual Arts |
  1. By Guy. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @06:36pm:
    Amazing...It would scare me being on top of a 34 foot column on the ground, let alone one 750 feet above ground level.
  2. By Snag. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @07:14pm:
    A great post, thanks. The Enquirer journalist who drew the short straw on this assignment deserves commendation.

    Guy .. I'm nowhere near this league but I have worked at heights, in harnesses etc. You learn to trust your equipment and training, and you watch out for each other religiously. I have a brother who has spent a lifetime on high-rise resort construction in Queensland. He has some interesting stories about the 'steelies' (most Aussie steelies are bikers).

    The obvious cold on this site is an added risk, especially handling metal. Note the hard-hats all turned backwards. They actually remove and reverse the internal webbing to do this permanently. It is not a fashion statement .. it is for clear vertical vision .. yet another example of inappropriate equipment being forced onto expert and experienced workers in the name of safety.

    Workers like this are regarded as socially inferior to the office workers below them. I'd prefer their company any day !
  3. By John Wilson. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @07:14pm:
    I have a few really old (30's 40's) photos at work that I should scan and post some day. Biggest difference between those and these???
    They didn't have any safety harnesses back then.

    Guy 34 feet???? That's about 4 times higher than my limit.

    Hey...anybody want these guy's jobs????
    (that's the Empire State Building Antenna)
  4. By John Wilson. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @07:25pm:
    Maybe it's just me but that photo I just posted made me think again.
    Had the same thought looking at snag's photos of that ship in the storm on FOM (fantastic photos, by the way).
    Where the hell was the photographer that took those pictures that snag posted?
    Where the hell was that photographer that took the picture that I just posted?
  5. By wally the duck. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @08:00pm:

    Interesting comment that most of those guys are bikers. Not surprising... there is a type there. If you listen carefully, I bet you can even hear that they speak just a tad differently, too: a bit slower than average and with a sort of metronome pacing to their sentences.
  6. By major_danny. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @08:02pm:
    I might have told this story before, so beg pardon in advance…

    My officemate came back from lunch one day quite shaken. Returning from the bank on foot (we worked downtown), he was extremely startled when a hard hat smacked the pavement with a loud crack. It missed him by about twenty feet.

    He was furious and continued walking, contemplating how he was to report this negligence. As he turned the corner his fury turned to sorrow when he sighted the twisted body of an iron worker in the middle of the street. Traffic had stopped and people had gathered in a futile attempt to help. The worker had fallen from seventy stories.
  7. By John Wilson. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @08:02pm:
    A little more on that picture.....§ion=feature2
    I wonder how much that guy gets paid??

    I would do a heck of a lot of things for a million dollars.
    That's NOT one of them!!!
  8. By biff. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @08:03pm:
    Workers like this are regarded as socially inferior to the office workers below them.

    Hey, that makes them excellent candidates for outsourcing. Replace them with some $7/hr "guest workers" then they (the socially inferior Ironworkers) can move on up to those better office jobs! ('til those jobs are outsourced)

    I'd prefer their company any day !

    Me too!

    I'll bet the average Ironworker makes about twice what the average "office worker" makes.
  9. By John Wilson. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @08:04pm:
  10. By Snag. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @08:19pm:
    Hi John .. I think the ship photos were taken from the comfort of the enclosed bridge. Your tower pic, on the other hand had to be from another climber .. brave lads !

    One of the steelworker stories mentioned above was about a tower-crane operator (Maori or Samoan) whose tower buckled under a heavy load and allowed the top (complete with operator's cabin) to crash 40 stories to the carpark.

    Workers on the ground rushed to the cabin only to be elbowed aside by the ashen-faced operator who extricated himslef from the remains of his cabin and disappeared into the toilets. He re-emerged 10 minutes later, still not speaking, to push through the paramedics and climb back into the cabin.

    While everybody discussed the effects of shock and concussion and prepared a stretcher for him he climbed out, still mute, this time with his lunch-box, walked through them unchallenged (he was a big fellow) got into his car and drove away.
  11. By Dinsdale Piranha. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @08:27pm:
    Great story Snag

    Truth is stranger than fiction
  12. By Snag. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @08:32pm:
    Hi Dinsdale .. 1:30 PM here .. pouring with rain (beautiful after our drought) .. can't do our planned work for the day, so wasting time online. How goes it with those andirons ?
  13. By Dinsdale Piranha. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @08:40pm:
    still banging them out along with a bunch of other furniture... looking for some new ideas though if you have any unusual ones from down under let me know in the next Open Mic
  14. By Stratoblogster. Comment posted 25-Jun-2007 @10:26pm:
    A FOUR martini lunch, maybe.
  15. By L.. Comment posted 26-Jun-2007 @01:14am:
    My wife (a civil engineer by training as well as a concertina player) once climbed the ladders to the top of a 256ft chimney that was being repaired - none of the men on her team were prepared to do it. She didn't enjoy the experience much though.

    Think of all those photographs of the men sitting on ends of beams eating their lunch from the 30s and 40s. A whole lot of these guys come from one Indian tribe as I recall.
  16. By Snag. Comment posted 26-Jun-2007 @01:33am:
    Yeah, we're the Forkawi tribe ! (grin)
  17. By bdgbill. Comment posted 26-Jun-2007 @05:01am:
    "This is not the kind of job where you can enjoy a two martini lunch."

    You may be surprised. I know some Iron Workers.
  18. By Sheldon. Comment posted 26-Jun-2007 @06:46am:
    I gotta go sit down. Oh wait, I'm already sitting down...
  19. By Oliver. Comment posted 26-Jun-2007 @07:35am:
    L. - I seem to remember that a lot of high steel workers were (still are?) from the Mohawk First Nation. I was told it was something to do with the tribe putting a great deal of stock in its men not being afraid of heights.

  20. By Snag. Comment posted 26-Jun-2007 @07:27pm:
    Thanks Oliver .. "braves" indeed ! Native Americans are a national treasure.
  21. By WTF. Comment posted 26-Jun-2007 @08:24pm:
    The names on the photo's captions don't sound Mohawk:

    Brian Shepherdson
    Ray Clarkson
    Dave Renshaw
    Jarred Pilarski
    Mike Bellows
    Andrew Bakely
    Derek Christie
    Nick DiFabio
    Eddie Allen
    Mike Kulp
    Mike Joyce
  22. By WTF. Comment posted 27-Jun-2007 @08:22am:
    John Wilson,

    I'm making your picture (the one you posted, not your face) my computer's wallpaper. It is amazing.

    I don't know how it was taken but I guess either a helicopter with a zoom lens (so everything is not blowing around) or maybe a permanently mounted camera, higher up.
  23. By John Wilson. Comment posted 27-Jun-2007 @10:44am:
    snag the "comfort" of the enclosed bridge ???
    Well, I can tell you for sure that if it was me in that "comfortable" enclosed bridge, I'd have needed a change of underwear.

    WTF I tried in vain to find a better (higher resolution) copy of that photo and others that I'm sure exist (can't see a photographer getting into that position and settling for one photo).

    I do think it was an actual photographer in place above them on the antenna. The guy in the photo is Tom Silliman and both ABC's 20/20 and National Geographic have been up on that antenna with him.

    The ABC story is here (alas, w/o photos):

    I can't find anything in the National Geographic archives.
  24. By WTF. Comment posted 27-Jun-2007 @11:08am:
    John Wilson,

    The originals seem to be out of a Cornell School of Engineering alumni magazine. Online access requires membership.

    It makes a great screen wallpaper and the resolution is fine. The screen's program icons look like smaller buildings on the ground.

  25. By John Wilson. Comment posted 27-Jun-2007 @12:02pm:
    I guess he did only take one photo??
    "Index/Perspectives/Aerials1/(picture 6)"

    And here's the article that goes with the picture:
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