The Darwin Awards 

Darwin Awards
At-Risk Survivors
Slush Pile
2008 Mentions
Bench Press
Mexican Divorce
The Turn Of The Screw
Orca Made Me Do It
Missionary Kid
A Really Bad Commute
A Cushioned Blow
Battered Sausage
Never Change
It's The Cure That'll Kill You
Molten Copper Shower
Roundabout Rocket
Putting the Pain in Propane
Spin Cycle
Shocking Rappel
Riders on the Storm
Other Mention Years 
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 Vintage
~ Random Story ~
Email Alert!
NEW! Gift Shop
Rules  Search
Contact Darwin
Submit a Story
Philosophy Forum


2008 At-Risk Survivor
The stupidity displayed by the participants in the following tales stops short of the ultimate Darwin Awards sacrifice. Nevertheless, we salute the spirit and innovation of their misadventures. Next Prev Random

The Turn Of The Screw
2008 At-Risk Survivor
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(Western Australia) The Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter uses a piece of heavy machinery called a screw feeder, a large cast-iron tube with an Archimedean screw inside. As the screw turns, it transports chunks of ore along its length. One of the drawbacks to the design is that it can and does jam, if ore gets wedged between the edge of the screw and the casing.

When a jam occurs, correct procedure is... what? That's right, shut down the machinery, open a hatch in the casing, and use a pry bar to dislodge the jam. Then start the machinery back up.

Incorrect procedure, as demonstrated by one worker, is to take a six-foot jimmy bar and bash the side of the casing in an effort to dislodge the jam. This is a bad idea because cast iron can fracture if abused. But the screw feeder is a rugged piece of equipment. It survived the bashing.

Our anti-hero then opened the inspection panel whilst the feeder was running. He spotted the jam and dislodged it with the same six-foot jimmy bar. Did I mention that the feeder is still running? Did I mention that it's a large and rugged piece of equipment?

The screw grabbed the end of the jimmy bar and whipped it around violently. The free end of the bar intersected our man's testicles. He landed in a crumpled, semi-conscious heap ten feet away from the now free-running feeder. Fortunately for him, the mangled bar missed him when it was flung free of the feeder moments later. Otherwise this story would have a more somber ending.

The unfortunate worker sustained injuries to his genitalia that necessitated a hospital stay. And worse, he put an end to the smelter's accident-free run in a public and highly amusing fashion. His pride was as crushed as his testicles. Almost.

Kalgoorlie is a mining town as famous for its hotels, hookers, and gambling as it is for being the centre of Australia's gold fields. But even by Kal's standards, this one was a ripper.

MEDIA REFERENCES © 1994 - 2017
Submitted by: Mat Meyer
Reference: Eyewitness account of Mat Meyer, who says, "My younger brother worked at the Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter. He was laughing so hard telling this story that he nearly wet himself."

Awful? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Great?
Hate it! Love it!
Previous Directions Next

Advanced Search

HomeRulesFAQsAwardsSlushSite Map
DarwinAward | HonorableMention | PersonalAccount | UrbanLegend © 1994 - 2018