Arborist fatality

A tree worker died while pruning trees from a spider lift in Holland, Michigan - east of Grand Rapids - on Monday after his platform suffered a structural failure.

The man, 50, was said to be the owner of a local tree care company, Watkin Tree Pro, and was working at a height of around 12 metres when according to the local police the boom suffered a structural failure causing it to break off and fall to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene

The company is a regular user of a 25 metre heavy duty CMC 83HD spider lift and has a reputation for professionalism. A structural failure is very rare, although in the tree business it is certainly not unheard of, due to the nature of the application. All too often falling limbs land on the platform or the boom and it is not unknown for tree workers to use the machine's boom to catch and lift down tree sections. All this can, especially over time, cause a fatigue failure. The information we have received so far is limited but we will update this as soon as we learn more. This is the second such failure on tree work that we know of, in February Sam Neterval-Quiel was badly injured when the boom failed on his CMC 83HD, See: Fundraiser for injured arsonist


We can now confirm that the lift was indeed CMC 83HD, the ANSI versions of which were subject to a 'Safety Check' earlier this year, involving an inspection and if any damage to the underside of the boom was found, owners were asked to take their lift out of service and have it repaired/updated. Whether that had been done on this machine or not, we cannot say, and if not why not, both of will be a key focus of any investigation. A key factor will be whether the machine's owner cooperated with the manufacturer and its distributor in carrying out a repair if required. See: Safety check for CMC 83HD. We know from CMC that it has notified every owner of the 83HD multiple times over the past few months, by all methods of communication, from email to registered/certified mail. The company also had a team of 10 factory engineers in the country to train dealers on the repairs while also being available to carry out any repair free of charge. We understand from speaking with the company today that owners of 15 machines had not yet confirmed whether they had checked their machines or not and none had requested assistance.

CMC has now issued a mandatory retrofit pack for not only the ANSI standard 83HD - but also the European S-25HD+ base model and the 28 metre S28/92HD+ derivative. The company has also acknowledged that in addition to this fatality there have been two further incidents, which resulted in injuries


In the previous article CMC stated that there is no risk of failure. They might want to double check that..

Aug 24, 2021

The safety bulletin is no longer available on the CMC website.

Aug 21, 2021

Yes, Its another CMC 25, Arbor Pro 83’ sold by All Access Equipment
Exactly same failure point at the base of the upper boom as the other two known near-fatalities.

Aug 18, 2021

Another CMC S25?

Aug 18, 2021
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