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13.12.2010

Update on Holcim accident

We have been sent a series of new photographs from the fatal accident which occured last Wednesday in Boulder, Western Australia, that show that the catapulting accident was different from that indicated by the first reports we received.

It is now clear that the lift, a JLG 860SJ, broke through into some sort of underground void such as a large drain under the grass surface it was travelling on. The lift was left in an unstable position which explains why those on the ground were unable to simply use the emergency lowering equipment to bring the stranded man down.
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One axle of the lift plunged into some sort of void


He had to wait over an hour for a mobile crane from Goldfields crane hire to come to the rescue.
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The proper use of a harness and lanyard saved this mans life


What does appear to still be clear from the photos is that the survivor was wearing a harness which was properly attached to the anchor point with an appropriate lanyard. As a result he has survived the incident without serious injury. We understand that he was badly bruised and obviously traumatised.
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The lift was travelling on grass at the time


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The surviving man is rescued from the platfrom by crane basket


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The lift after the rescue


Click here to see the original report

Vertikal Comment

Looking at the safety measures in place at the site we have to assume that the deceased, a 42 year old man working for a subcontractor, was wearing a harness but had not attached it – although at this stage this is of course conjecture on our part.

What this accident does teach us, as if we needed another lesson, is that the wearing of a proper harness with short lanyard attached to the proper anchor point, can save you r life when an accident such as this occurs.

Note: We wondered whether publishing the photo of the man before he was rescued and clearly in distress, was appropriate – however in the end it seems that these photos are appearing elsewhere on the internet and have we understand been published in at least one newspaper – not that this condones its use.

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