A man has died while loading a tracked boom lift in Wijchen, near Nijmegen, the Netherlands today.
According to the local police the man, 49, was driving the JLG crawler lift up the ramps onto a truck adjacent to the premises of aerial work platform dealer Vink Machinery. When it pivoted on the centre point of its tracks it catapulted him out of the platform. It seems that he was not wearing a harness at the time and he died at the scene. A helicopter was brought into airlift him to hospital, but it was already too late.
The platform and truck were undamaged. The police and Labour Inspectorate will conduct a joint investigation.
While we do not know for certain if this poor man was wearing a harness or not, the fact is that way too many delivery drivers do not bother with one when loading, sometimes even refusing when asked to!
Steel tracked crawlers like this are notorious for creating a whiplash effect when passing over a peak angle such as at the top of a ramp. It is a sad day not only for the deceased and his immediate family, but also everyone working in the company, not to mention his friends and associates. A tragic and avoidable death, hopefully this will serve as yet another reminder of what can happen when carrying out such a routine task.