Lawyer Plunges 24-Stories to His Death

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[UPI, Toronto] July 1993
Police said a lawyer, demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper, crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death.

A police spokesman said Gary Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting law students.

Hoy previously had conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police reports.

Peter Lawyers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was "one of the best and brightest" members of the 200-man association.

The above story from many years ago has become legend. It has been featured in television shows such as “1000 Ways to Die” and “Mythbusters” and also earned Mr. Hoy a Darwin Award in 1996.

Many of us hear this story and think: “Well, he was flirting with disaster by running straight into the glass over and over again and he probably got what he deserved”, and that is a fair opinion. But what about you?

What type of things do you do over and over again . . . taking a chance that “it won’t happen to you”?  Do you:
• Reach into moving equipment?
• Not wear specific PPE for the task?
• Not lockout equipment before servicing?
• Drive a forklift with your view obstructed?
• Keep your safety glasses on your head rather than your eyes?
• Take shortcuts?
• Use broken tools?
• Work on live electrical circuits without protection?
• Use faulty extension cords?
• Get up on an unguarded platform without fall protection?
• Remove machine guards or tape up safety limit switches?

Think about it. Each of those things has led to the death of someone in the past year at their workplace. Until you make the decision to eliminate those at-risk behaviors that you do, you are playing roulette with your limbs, your life, and maybe even a coworker’s life.

Today is the day to stop ramming your body against the window.


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