An accident waiting to happen?

Received from a reader in the UK, photographs of a boom lift working on a residential building in Kent, UK, but not in the safest manner.

The lift is an 80ft JLG articulated boom lift, which seems a little excessive for the job at hand, although given that it is being used by a roofing company, it was probably rented in order to reach the top of the 25 metre building, as well as the low level work.

In the words of our correspondent: “See attached photos taken in Swanley Kent this week. All it would take is a van to come round the corner and misjudge the height of the overhang. I stopped and spoke to the guys telling them how unsafe it was. Two days later the machine was working in the exactly the same spot by a roofing company. The road is in regular use as it is the main access to the train station and the local shop. An accident waiting to happen!"

It should be said that the lift is well cordoned off, and the two men in the basket are all fully equipped with PPE, including harnesses etc... But the telescopic riser does protrude way out into the road, although it might just be at height that most vehicles will be able to pass underneath. It also looks like a relatively slow road, in which risk should be a little lower, than it it had been on a main road. It does though highlight how selecting the wrong machine for the job can be extremely dangerous.

So, in summary while not one of the worst examples we have seen - purely due to mitigating circumstances - it still highlights a practice that has resulted in the death of a good number of people that have used boom lifts in exactly the same manner.
So definitely one for our Death Wish Series.
Have a safe weekend - a long weekend for many of you.


Harry Sharp
Take the main boom up to as high as it will go. This will be within the chassis footprint. Then lower the secondary boom down to the work area. You’re welcome!

Apr 28, 2023

They abound
That secondary boom can stay at that height, where it has arced backwards and reduced the footprint, and they can quick-stick the primary.

Apr 28, 2023

Finally they didn’t need to sponsor this event to win…..

Apr 28, 2023