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    FATAL CHERRY PICKER INCIDENT

    Man crushed whilst using mobile elevating platform

    A construction worker has died on the site of a new Lidl store in Stevenston, Scotland. We understand he may have been trapped between the basket of a cherry picker and a fixed struture. He died on 30th January. HSE and Strathclyde Police are investigating the death.

    Comment:

    HSE issued a safety alert in 2005 regarding the risk of being trapped between the basket of a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) and fixed structures. During 2008 HSE has been undertaking interventions on steel erection projects to check on the management of MEWPS. The advice provided by HSE is that users should :

    Assess the risk by including consideration of the following questions:

    • Are there overhead obstructions that an operator could come into contact with while the MEWP is being used? If so,
    • Is there a system or a physical barrier on the MEWP to prevent an operator from inadvertently operating the controls if they are accidentally pushed against them by an overhead or adjacent object while operating the equipment?
    • If the operator is pressed against the controls would they be able to stop and reverse the direction of travel to release themselves?

    Practical precautions to be taken include:

    1. ensure that enough people know how to operate the emergency descent system from ground level should a rescue be necessary (for whatever reasons).
    2. alert operators and their supervisors to these risks and take account of them when construction contractors plan any work at height from a MEWP.
    3. check that MEWP operators have been trained to a recognised standard, and that they have been sufficiently familiarised with the machine they are required to operate.
    4. consult their manufacturer / supplier for advice if they consider physical measures are necessary to control the risk. 

    Further comprehensive advice on safe use of MEWPS is available.

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