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    AUSTRALIAN SUSPENDED PLATFORM DEATH

    Painter dies and worker hangs in harness as platform collapses

    A painter has fallen 40m to his death in Sydney, Australia when a suspended painting platform collapsed. A rescue operation was required to save his co-worker left suspended in his harness, clinging to ropes with the platform hanging above his head. 

    An Ambulance Service spokesperson said “we grabbed a ladder to try to help the bloke who was dangling from his harness but they ended up getting him into the building.” Paramedic Peter Ennis said the surviving man was “uncomfortable but calm” during the 30-minute operation to retrieve him from his harness.

    A further incident occurred at the scene when the crane used to secure the gantry overturned onto an empty car. The crane driver was trapped for 10 minutes.

    Comment: The standards in this area are lead by the Specialist Access Engineering and Maintenance Association (SAEMA) although other members of the Access Industry Forum (AIF) may have an interest in such platforms. The HSE publication on window cleaning using suspended platforms also contains precautions required when using the platforms.

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