Harnesses save two
Thu 14 Jun 2012 - posted by Total Access
Harnesses save two
A self-propelled boom lift overturned yesterday near Reading, Pennsylvania, the two men in the platform survived, thanks to the fact that they were both wearing harnesses and their lanyards were attached.
The lift, a large Genie telescopic boom, was working in a parking lot in Wyomissing on the western outskirts of Reading. The two men in the platform were replacing banners on the outside of an outlets store with the boom fully retracted and fully elevated, when it tipped over backwards.
The machines axles were not extended
The boom came down on a fence and a Jeep Cherokee 4x4 vehicle which helped cushion its landing a little. The platform was left hanging over a railway. The two men in the platform, one aged 21- the other 60, were able to crawl out of the platform after it came to rest and escaped with relatively minor injuries.
The younger of the two was treated for minor scrapes and bruises, while the older man suffered a few broken ribs and remained in hospital overnight. Thankfully there was no one in the 4x4.
OSSHA has launched an investigation into what caused the overturn. However the photos speak for themselves. The lift has extending axles which should have been deployed but were not. With the boom fully elevated and retracted and rotated over the side it was in its worst possible position in terms of stability – only a lighter load would have been any worse – and with the axles retracted the chances of overturning were high.
The platform ended up over the railway track
In order to have operated the unit in this position without extending the axles, the units safety interlocks must have been disabled or overridden in some way.
There are two individuals out there today who will be so thankful that they used their harnesses yesterday.