June 2014

Safety Notes

Accident Report

  • Incident | Aerial lift tips over
  • Business | Power line maintenance and repair
  • Employee | Installation technician

An installation technician operating an aerial lift was thrown from the platform and died when the lift tipped over.

After the technician and a co-worker hooked up a cellular antenna system on a 55-foot power pole, they lowered the boom on their Genie 65S articulating boom lift and stepped off the platform.

Drawing of a tipped over aerial lift with a man thrown from the platform

While the co-worker hooked up a meter to verify that the system was working, the technician got a camera, returned to the platform, and began raising the boom to photograph their completed work. He was operating the lift on an eight- to 10-degree slope with counterweight on the downhill side. Although he was wearing a body harness for fall protection, he did not attach his lanyard to one of the manufacturer's approved anchorage points on the platform.

As the technician raised the platform to its maximum height with the boom retracted, the lift suddenly tipped over, throwing him 10 feet from the platform.

Applicable standards

437-003-0073(1) – "The employer did not follow all operating and maintenance instructions and recommendations of the manufacturer when using a boom-supported elevating platform." The employee was operating an articulating boom lift on a hillside against the manufacturer's instructions.

437-003-0073(2) – "Workers were not using personal fall protection that complied with subdivision 3/M when working in a boom-supported elevating work platform." The operator did not use a complete fall protection system (he did not attach his lanyard to the manufacturer's approved anchorage points on the platform).

1926.502(d)(15) – "Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment were not capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee attached." Two employees were operating an articulating boom lift without using the approved anchorage points on the platform.

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