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Poor Planning Dooms Workers

Case 1: A 61-year-old steelworker was operating a mobile scissor lift on uneven terrain. He was placing bolts into steel joists to complete their installation, and was using the scissor lift to position himself so he could reach the beams. As he drove the lift closer to a beam on which he intended to work, the front tires entered a ditch that dropped approximately 1½ feet over a space of about four feet. The force of the tires dropping down caused the lift to fall forward and throw the victim to the ground, where he suffered fatal injuries. Investigation revealed that the lift, a rental unit, was provided with safety manuals and a Manual of Responsibilities outlining the type of terrain on which the unit should be operated. They clearly stated that the scissor lift should only be used on level ground.

Case 2: Two employees of a steel erection contractor had been bolting and welding at a height of 19 feet from a mobile elevated platform. After finishing work on a column, they were riding in the lift with the platform fully extended, when the right front wheel rolled over a pile of debris that had been left on the concrete floor. The scissor lift tipped over, causing one of the employees to sustain serious head trauma. He was taken to an area hospital, where he died.


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