John Pridemore the fire chief of the town of Clayton, Delaware has died following the overturn of a scissor lift last week.
The incident occurred in the Clayton Fire Station on Monday evening last week when Pridemore was cleaning the internal areas from the platform of a scissor lift at a height of around seven metres. According to a bulletin from the fire department someone opened a large up and over door to the firehouse which as it is powered, pushed over the elevated scissor lift. Pridemore fell and struck his head on the bumper of a fire engine
He was rushed to hospital but passed away from his injuries on Tuesday. A statement from the department said that the person opening the door had only intended to raise the doors to the old section of the fire station, but accidentally pressed the master button that raised all the doors. He leaves behind wife Kimberly, his daughter Amanda, son Michael and a granddaughter.
Every year a number of people die while working perfectly safely from a scissor lift, when an outside action pushes lift over. It mostly occurs with travelling overhead cranes during servicing, but clearly large up and over doors are another example. This sad incident highlights the need for a good on the spot risk assessment - not a form or box ticking - but the evaluation of the possibly risks at the moment prior to starting work. Disabling or tagging overhead crane or door controls etc is an essential requirement.