Boom lift fatality

Two men have died after the boom lift they were using to dismantle a music festival stage overturned.

The two men, were working for event design company GuildWorks and were removing guy ropes for a large canopy from trees after the Pickathon festival at Pendarvis Farm in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday evening. The were using an 85ft Genie S-85 boom lift - belonging to rental company Herc - on an uneven grass slope and had elevated the retracted boom causing the machine too become ‘back heavy’ for the slope it was on, resulting in rearward overturn.

Statements from the emergency services said: “There were two people in the basket at the time the cherry picker tipped over. Tragically, both people were killed. The arborists had been ascending in a boom lift before climbing further up trees to get to ropes holding up the complex shade installation. They were wearing safety equipment and were roped to the boom lift, which was reportedly positioned on an incline.”

A public statement from the Pickathon event added: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of two members of the GuildWorks crew during breakdown of this year’s festival. Please join us in offering up prayers and support to their families and friends during this difficult time. All involved in Pickathon are like members of a family to us. We will wrap our collective arms around all affected and share in the grieving process.”

We will update this item if and when we learn more.

It seems that the two men named as Brad Swet, 35, of Foster Trees and Brandon Blackmore, 27, of GuildWorks had gone up in the boom lift and than climbed into the trees to reach the ropes that were holding a giant canopy. The remained attached to the booms with their lanyards. The combination of no weight in the platform, with the high boom elevation, retracted boom and slope caused the boom to tip rearwards pulling the two men from the trees and hurtling them to the ground.

A memorial fund has been established to help support the families of these two young people www.gofundme.com/f/brad-swet-and-brandon-blackmore-memorial-fund


Auld Yin
Hmmm, no tilt alarm???? the amount of machines we get back in off hire that the tilt sensor has been defeated or the annoying tilt alarm has had a screwdriver or nail driven through it to shut it up.

Sep 19, 2019

I don’t mean ‘overkill’ by writing more about this accident but take note of the 4”x 4” post employed as wheel chocks on the second lift. We can’t see what wheel chocks were used on the flipped lift. We use triangular heavy molded rubber chocks 5-1/2” (14 cm) high. And when we are on a slope it is requisite to secure the lift to a stable tree, truck or heavy equipment. If it cannot be secured we are not going up. Safety first, safety always, no guesswork. A old German saying I learned in 1974: too soon old, too late smart.

Aug 13, 2019

For “the truth hurts”, your point is valid except they rented a lift with no outriggers. I surmise the angle they set the lift (front to back or lengthwise) with its centerline (of lift frame) was a-kilter to the slope centerline. As I shared this case with colleagues today they remarked about no supervision there determining the type of equipment to rent and how to set it correctly.

Aug 12, 2019

Tragic waste of life
But it has to be said S85s on grass I wonder if this was surveyed??

Aug 12, 2019

I regret the loss of two young workers. To save a repeat of this fatal accident suggests this Analysis by curiosity of the description and photo. Could the Genie base have been secured uphill to heavy trucks or trees with chokers or tree savers using tractor chain or heavy duty rope and to limit the basket weight to one worker rather than two? Better yet, utilize a tracked lift with outriggers and still for safety sake secure the base uphill?

Aug 11, 2019
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