Lifting with a work platform

One of our regular UK readers spotted a truck mounted platform being used as a crane in Windsor in late October. He asked us: “Is it correct to use Platform as a crane? Taken in Windsor last evening.”

The platform, a Multitel HX 200, was rented - almost certainly without operator- from Height for Hire. The user appears to have connected a pulley block to the boom tie down eye under the platform and hooked the rope up to a large Christmas street decoration.
We double checked with the manufacturer on whether the HX200 was designed for lifting loads, bearing in mind that a number of truck mounted lifts - mostly larger ones - are equipped with lifting davits, or with a lifting attachment that replaces the platform, converting it to a lightweight crane.
A late night lift in Windsor, UK

A representative from the manufacturer said:

“As far as a lifting option, yes some of our models (truck and spider lift) can be equipped with a little winch (same lifting capacity as the cage load). The winch has to be mounted instead of the basket though. However, nothing has been designed for the HX200. Any sort of hook below the basket is an unauthorised solution and not respecting the EN280 norm (at all!)”

So does this qualify as a Death Wish?

Well clearly it is a very lightweight load and based on the fact that it is being lifted by a man pulling on a two part line, the loadings on the machine are probably well below what the lift is designed for.

However, it clearly contravenes the rules and regulations and while this lift was almost certainly carried out without drama or excessive risk, if this practice becomes a habit with the crew, there is a danger that they will escalate to heavier loads and eventually overload the structural integrity of the machine, causing fatigue to eventually set in. If so, it would be entirely possible that it would cause a serious incident that kills or injures some poor soul using the machine perfectly correctly a year or two down the line.
A closer look at the lifting tackle

Earlier this week we reported on a serious incident with a platform and a Christmas tree that could well have killed the person in the platform at the time.

So yes, we will add it to our Death Wish series.
But more importantly what do you think?

Oh! and one more point - it does not look as though they bothered too much with ground bearing pressures – deciding not to use the mats that were almost certainly provided – even though town centres like this can have all manner of voids just below the surface.

Have a safe weekend.


Salad Fingers
As Pwood had said, why is this a death wish, yet okay for the film industry to do far worse with almost every machine they hire, and also the telecoms industry regularly use Spiderlift’s and small truck mounts to lift antennas, cabling, dishes etc, usually with two people in the basket too, sometimes even taking the machine to working height and then pulling the equipment up with a rope to avoid being stopped by weight limit sensors…

Dec 18, 2022

Jeff at BattleFish
You would get questions like this all the time. Simple answers are, what is intended design, did you read the ops manual and finally if that does not satisfy your questions then call the OEM.

Nov 27, 2022

So here we go again, headline news that someone is using a mewp to lift something and it's considered a death wish, which is correct as we all know mewps are not cranes and shouldnt be used to suspend anything and or used for any practices for which the machine is not designed. Why then does Vertikal and numerous other establishments within the access industry (including IPAF) fail to report on and condone the use of mewps to suspend lighting rigs etc for film work, how many manufacturers if asked would say that constructing a scaffold frame around the basket and hanging a large light etc off it is ok. Many access companies doing this up and down the country, everyone knows it not right and yet everyone ignores it but very quick to comment if someone doesn't use spreader matts or doesn't have sufficient cones out !!

Nov 26, 2022