An electric slab scissor lift was rented by what we assume is a sub contractor, to carry out work on the façade of a building in the UK. We have no idea when, where, or who was involved, none of which is particularly relevant here.
The problem that the sub contractor faces when he goes to work, is that the pavement - sidewalk if you prefer - has a vehicle entrance ramp, the operator tells the contractor that it is not safe to take the lift up on the ramp. The site agent comes along and says it will be fine, but then organises some plywood panels in a bid to level the machine. He seems to suggest it is safe and pushes for the job to be done.
The contractor has doubts and via some form of social media consults others for some additional advice – here is the conversation – with one or two minor edits to remove profanity etc...
Contractor – “So the driver says it’s not safe, I don't think it's safe, but the site agent thinks it’s OK, he's currently got the labourer to fetch larger bits of ply. The pavement slopes away from the building. Anyone want to comment or any HSE inspector wanna comment?
Man 1: “The sensor will kick in and stop the lift if gradient is too much, would tell site agent to xxxx off with the ply though”
Man 2: “Do it you xxxxxxxxxx”
Man 3. “All is good at that height. As soon as you go up it’s going to lean more - More leverage to tip it”
Man 4: “Yep Centre of gravity changes”
Man 3: “The sensor will kick in but that’s not the point. You can tip them by pushing off the work piece”
Man 5: “Just tell him you’ve taken photos to send to the HSE.”
Man 6: “Long gone are the days where you would just say ‘xxxx it’ let’s just get the job done”
Man 7: “Bok bok bok- chicken”
Man 8: “Is Operator is trained? If yes, he is responsible for his and others safety in the use of the machine. Site boss can instead pay to get correct equipment for the required task”
Man 9: “Let the agent go up!”
Contractor: “Got the agent doing up at the moment”
Man 10: “Wobble it!”
Man 11: “The alarm will sound before it gets high enough to tip, I would do it”
Man 1: “Yeah the wind can be the bigger issue lol”
Man 12: “Should be a self-levelling picker! So, go home”
Man 13: “Is that part of the road coned off?”
Man 14: “Operators says if it’s safe or not - Not the site agent or take him up in it let him have a risk - bet he doesn't”
Man 15: “Just get to work”
Man 16: “Looks fine to me. No problems.”
Man 17: “It’s an inside lift simple”
Man 18: You clearly don’t have a ticket and understand the dangers of it so get off it.”
Contractor: “I've got a driver, read the post properly”
Man 18: “You've got a driver who has a ticket you should state. Even still you need a boom not a scissor lift on the terrain.”
So would it have been OK to use this machine? What would you have advised?
The machine in question looks like a Haulotte Compact 14, with 14 metres working height and 350kg platform capacity. What no one mentioned is that the pot hole bars might play a role if the machine is half on the ramp and half on the pavement.
What is clear is that this group clearly has plenty of expertise, and a variety of opinions on safe methods of working. We will refrain from commenting ourselves at this point, preferring to hear what you have to say or add… Keep it clean and we are not at all interested in who it was or where it was - so please do not say.
Oh, and by the way we really have no idea what the contractor did in the end.