Rental man catapulted from boom

A rental company delivery driver was catapulted out of a boom lift as he was conducting a hand over this weekend. The incident occurred in Grass Valley between Sacramento, California and Lake Tahoe. The man an employee of HBE Rentals, a local company, was apparently demonstrating the proper use of the machine to a customer before unloading it from the back of his truck. However he had not yet put the unloading ramps in place and inadvertently drove it off the back.

The lift went off the back of the delivery truck

The machine’s rear wheels landed on the ground and it remained upright and possibly even undamaged, however the catapult effect threw the man into the air and out of the cage, as he seems not to have been wearing a harness with attached lanyard.
Although he was thrown five or six metres, he was fortunate enough to have survived the fall, but received injuries to his shoulders, neck, wrists and legs and had to be airlifted to hospital.

Vertikal Comment:
We have often stressed the fact that unloading a boom lift from the back of the truck is one of the most dangerous times in terms of risk from creating a catapult effect. And yet we know all too well from our experiences at Vertikal Days that many drivers, responsible for delivering aerial lifts – especially subcontractors – do not like to bother with a harness.

This man is lucky to be alive although if he had been wearing a harness his injuries would almost certainly have been significantly lighter. He was also not doing the customer any favors with such a handover. He clearly should have unloaded the machine first of all and then demonstrated it.


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