Work at height fatality

One man died and another was injured in an incident involving a scissor lift and possibly a crane, at a Birmingham university site in Edgbaston, UK earlier this month.

While we heard of the incident shortly after it occurred on January 7th, we have been unable to confirm categorically what actually happened and whether it was truly an aerial work platform and not something else. We are now fairly confident of at least some of the key facts involved in the incident.

The men were working on a project managed by Balfour Beatty when at least one of them, if not both, were ejected from the scissor lift they were working from. We still do not know if it overturned or they were knocked from the basket. At least two reports claim that a crane hook was involved with the fall.

One man, 62, died after reaching hospital, while the other man, 48, was taken to hospital with serious injuries although he is said to be in stable condition. A statement from Balfour Beatty said: “As a result of an incident, a colleague working for one of our supply chain partners has tragically lost their life with another requiring medical attention.”

“Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and co-workers of the deceased at this time. The health and safety of our workforce and the public is always our primary concern. The facility was temporarily closed in order to allow the police to investigate. While employees have now returned to site, the investigation remains ongoing and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

A statement from West Midlands Ambulance Service added: “Our crews found two patients at the scene, both men. One of the men was given advanced trauma care on scene before being taken on blue lights, in a critical condition, to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.”

We will of course update this item as soon as we learn more.