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.


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