Boom lift overturn in UK

We have received information and a photograph of a boom lift that overturned on a job site in Avonmouth, near Bristol, UK.

The information we have is limited, but it seems that the machine, which looks like a JLG 800AJ from the AFI rental fleet, was working on the façade of a building, either on the steel work or cladding, the reports received have differed a little in some of the detail.

The two wheels under the counterweight were running on the edge of a road. The weight on them and the resulting ground bearing pressure caused the ground/road edge to collapse, which resulted in the boom lift flipping over rearwards, catapulting the operator out of the platform.

It looks as though the telescopic riser and lower boom was not fully elevated, while the boom was at least partially raised, which would have thrown much of the machine’s weight onto the wheels on the road edge, especially with the main boom retracted, as it appears to be.

The good news is that the operator was wearing a harness, with his lanyard attached, which left him dangling in the air. He was then apparently able to climb back into the platform and slide down the lower boom/riser to the ground. We understand that he was taken to hospital for a check up but was released later with no serious issues.

Compare this to a very similar incident in France this week, where the operator died at the scene, having not worn a harness/lanyard - see: Unloading fatality.

In the Avonmouth incident the operator would have been better to have had the lower boom fully raised and the main boom lowered a little or even telescoped, in order to have thrown weight onto the wheels in the centre of the road. But that does seem counter intuitive, so many people forget a boom lift, or many types of crane, are least stable when the boom is retracted, and fully elevated rearward stability can become an issue.

Most importantly however is the fact that the man went home to his family that night, while the family of the poor fellow in Italy is now planning a Christmas funeral.


This is what happens when you have no reps to survey these jobs!!

Dec 21, 2021

Fatality was in Italy (which doesn't make it any less tragic)..
Harnesses work.

Dec 20, 2021
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