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04.02.2014

HSE issues Z-135/70 Bulletin

The UK Health & Safety Executive has issued a bulletin warning to owners of Genie Z-135/70 boom lifts to check that they are calibrated in accordance with a bulletin issued by the manufacturer in July last year.

The HSE bulletin appears to add little that is new although it does appear to confirm that the cause was due to a calibration issue and insists that any machines that were not checked at the time, must be withdrawn from service, until they are properly checked out.

The introduction is as follows: “The purpose of this safety alert is to advise owners and users of steps to be taken to control risks associated with the Genie Z135/70 Mobile Elevated Work Platform following preliminary findings for a machine overturn. More information may follow in due course.”

“The emerging findings from the HSE investigations indicate that the operational stability of a Genie Z135/70 mobile elevated work platform may be compromised by the incorrect measurement of the boom angle sensors.”

It then goes into what it expects owners or users to do, including the removal from service of any machine’s that have not already been checked in accordance with the July bulletin.

“Action required: The manufacturer’s safety notice should be followed. Any machines for which the required calibration checks have not been completed should be removed from service. Following the completion of checks, the machines should continue to be inspected, serviced and maintained as per the manufacturer’s requirements.”

Click here to see the HSE bulletin for yourself

Vertikal Comment

After waiting eight months this seems - at least on the surface - to be something in nothing - an anti climax if you will.

One hopes that all owners were notified by Genie back in July, and that they all carried out the checks as required. However as we all know there will certainly have been at least a few that never got round to it. The bulletin now has the power of the law behind it, at least in the UK.

I suppose that although it does not say so, we can deduce that the machine, which was just a few weeks old, had somehow been wrongly calibrated and that the HSE will be looking to see if it can prosecute someone for that.

What it ought to be doing is highlighting how the machine was wrongly calibrated, given that it was almost certainly calibrated by a qualified person - possibly an employee of the manufacturer - so that other technicians do not make the same mistake. Rather than trying to apportion blame.

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