Thursday I was doing technical service to a fire detection system at an institution where physical and mental handicapped people work.
This includes physical testing of each wired fire detector once a year. This is by far not my main job but I´m certified to do it so I jumped in for
another work mate this time.
There comes some responsibility with this, as noticing the fire and rescue control center where the system is hooked up via telephone/gsm.
You are the one who is responsible for calling the fire department if a fire breaks out and the system is not online, this comes to weight later.
So I was testing this fire detector in a kitchen at and it was mounted underneath one of those tin-panels at the ceiling that you can lift out.
It looks like this:
You can see the same plates on the picture
Normally they stay in place when you test the detectors but this time it did not. It lifted as soon as I placed my tester underneath and after some
struggle to put it back in place with my telescope rod, it fell down on me. I was covered in white and red dust and barely managed to grab the panel
so it wont crush down on the floor and squash the detector. I went to my car to clean my face because the washroom was in use at the moment. So I took
a ladder with me to put it back in place and went on with testing the next group of detectors.
Approximately 2-3 minutes later I noticed a burning sensation in my eyes, nose and throat, my lips went all dry and I started to get shifted visuals.
This was when I realized something was not right and I went to the washroom to clean myself up and noticed red pebbles in my hair and sneezed some out
of my nose. At first I thought it´s blood but then I realized it has to do with that dust that came down on me.
I went back to the kitchen and noticed a little tin can with red powder in and around it on the floor some meters away from the place the ceiling came
down. I turned it and saw some poison signs and a bolt line stating to call this number if it came into contact with you. So I did and man I was
terrified to hear that this was Chlorpyrifos a serious poison when inhaled and ingested.
The lady on the hotline then took my position and asked what hospital I was going (managed to get a driver fast) and noticed me if I would not show up
in 30 minutes they would send ambulance to get me there. At this point my eyes were watering and I got headaches and slight orientation problems.
The problem was, the system was still running offline and in test mode and I had to turn it back on because I was the only one able to do this in this
region, sending a mate to my position would have took almost 2.5-3 hours of drive depending on traffic, so I had no option to get through the trouble
resetting the system and noticing the firedepartment control center that they can turn the modem on live again.
Problem this was an old SIEMENS cerberus sytem where you have to reset each detector group by hand. This took about 10 minutes and after that someone
from the disabled had thought they would help me doing my job, pressing one of the fire alarm button just after I disabled testmode. Thus spawning a
genuine firealarm and I had run to the damn thing while everybody tried to get out of the building. Fast forward about ten minutes later I was on my
way to the emergency station at the hospital with devil red eyes, sore nose and mouth and serious headaches coming in waves.
We rushed in and after they flushed my eyes nose and mouth out the doctor heard a blistering in my lung and they made a rontgen/thorax image and saw I
have something in my lungs. They put me on intensive care instantly 24h until Friday morning 10 o´clock in the morning. Gave me several infusions and
I had to breath on a machine that trains your lungs to inflate and deflate properly. It was living hell 24h I could not sleep but was tired to death,
my kindeys hurt all night, face was spanning, nose burnt no smell, throat was thick and I really thought I´m going to die I was shivering so much I
could not urinate myself into that damn plastic hose.
Without the machine, my breathing rythm fell down to 3 breaths a minute and later on friday morning, I was managing 12-14 breaths on my owm, so2
concentration I could watch on my monitor all night was alerting the staff every 20-30 minutes and they had to readjust something. Heartbeatrythm low
as 54 and some other values I don´t know to interpret.
Of course the doctors and sisters/brothers did calm me down and I managed to not die. It must have been a serious allergic shock that drew of over
night and at friday morning, most parameters were on common levels again but I´m not smelling that much and my eyes are still irritated. They send me
on normal station on friday morning and let me off at around 12 o´clock.
So why was someone not doing his job? Because you damn sure have to put signs on the ceiling if you put a can of poison (was there ten years, not even
allowed anymore, nobody knew!) on the ceiling in a way that it can fall down.
Oh and I said to the cook in the kitchen that this is not insect # but mice # and that this kind of poison would not help with his problem. I saw the
hate in his eyes, this was not a good "joke" to him but who is working in a kitchen with mice # and insect poison???
The "Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention" is running rampant about my accident and I will investigate into the company that
is in charge of putting these killers on top of ceiling plates. If I experience any smell or sight problems in future I will sue the crap out of
Who is this #ing asshole who puts poison in the ceiling and not even caring tagging the place with signs LIKE ITS SUPPOSED TO BE!!!!
At and institution where mentally and physically handicapped people slender along? In a kitchen???
If I would have #ed up with the fire system or with my main job at work, people may die. I know my responsibilities and sure take all the time needed
to get everything perfect. Even if it means over-hours or less sleep. Goddamn were talking about lives at risk here so what is this guy throwing
poison into the ceiling and just leave without tagging? I mean come on, this kind of work (if not for the poison) is a two step thing:
Place the box in the ceiling and tag.
Place the box in the ceiling and tag.
Even cleaning a floor is more conquering.
Sure people make mistakes but this kind of mistake is pure carelessly. I mean it takes a second to verify the work before going to the next ceiling