You may remember the tragic story of the college student who was fatally injured at a college football practice last year while filming the team’s practice. The student was employed by the University of Notre Dame but was not properly trained about how to operate the scissor lift, which contributed to the fall accident that took the young man’s life.
Asheville workers’ compensation attorneys see so many red flags associated with this particular work accident. Young workers must be properly trained when they are required to operate dangerous equipment, especially if weather or other factors can cause a severe or fatal injury to occur.
Scissor lifts are large pieces of equipment powered by hydraulics which contain a platform that is raised and lowered by a scissor motion below its base. Without proper training of safety precautions, scissor lift-related accidents in Charlotte, or elsewhere are quite common, especially when performing job responsibilities in an outside environment. The college student raised the lift upwards of 39 feet into the air during a practice that entailed wind gusts of over 50 mph. The lift was blown over and killed the young man.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a hazard alert to organizations following this incident. Employers and young workers should be familiar with the following hazards related to using a scissor lift if you are required to use equipment to complete your job responsibilities:
-High winds or inclement weather conditions can cause the lift to fall over.
-The lift can fall over when it is positioned on uneven ground or in a particularly soft area due to excessive amounts of rain.
-Weighted objects on the platform can cause the lift to fall over.
-A worker may fall off the platform if no personal protective equipment or guard rails are being used.
Not only are workers at risk of fall accidents from a raised scissor lift, they can also be subject to electrocution hazards. A worker that comes into contact with electrical lines while standing on the platform is at severe risk of being electrocuted.
Employers have a responsibility to take the necessary precautions to keep workers of any age safe while performing job duties. The following initiatives must be taken to prevent scissor lift-related work accidents:
-Inspect the equipment before it is about to be used by a worker.
-Stay away from parking the apparatus near slopes, holes or ground obstructions.
-Park the scissor lift at least 10 away from electrical lines upon its full extension.
-If rain, sleet, snow or wind is expected, prohibit workers from using a scissor lift.
-Make sure the lift is limited two one or two people using minimal equipment.
-Provide workers with fall protection such as a harness to prevent them from falling off the platform to ground level. Always make sure guard rails are in place before using the equipment.
-The scissor lift must be tested, inspected and maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
-Train all employees on how to properly use the equipment. Never permit an untrained employee to use the scissor fork in a raised position.
If you or a loved one has been injured while performing a work task or killed in a work-related accident in Charlotte, Asheville or anywhere in North Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for legal advice. We help protect the rights of injured workers and their families so call for a free no-obligation appointment at 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Young Workers in Restaurant Industry Require Training to Help Avoid Work Injuries in Statesville, Elsewhere, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 14, 2011.
North Carolina Employers Required to Provide Training to Reduce Teen Injuries Occurring at Work in Gastonia, Asheville, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 13, 2011.