A young engineer was killed when he was thrown from the basket of a boom-type elevating work platform (zoom-boom). The incident occurred while he and the boom operator were inspecting a large diameter pipe. The two men were operating from the basket approximately 36 feet above ground, with the boom extended by about 55 feet. When their work was completed, the operator was returning to the ground, using the controls in the basket, when the basket came into contact with a horizontal section of the pipe. Excessive downward pressure exerted on the boom caused the basket’s leveling cylinder to fail and the basket flipped toward the boom. This generated a severe whipping motion of the boom and the two workers were thrown from the basket, suspending them from their fall-arresting equipment. While the operator cleared the boom and received minor injuries, the engineer was killed when he struck the boom.
WorkSafeNB’s investigation revealed that the causes of the accident were:
Operators must be aware of their surroundings at all times and in all three planes (front and back, left and right, up and down).
Operators must have the training required by the manufacturer, with particular emphasis on the proper procedure to take when entangled or encountering obstructions.
Operators must have specific training for the unit in use. Competency on one model doesn’t ensure competency on another.
CSA Standard B354.3-M82, paragraph 188.8.131.52(f), requires occupants to wear a fall-arresting system. The fall-arresting system used must follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.