A man aged 45 has died after falling from an aerial work platform that was struck by an overhead crane at a facility in Bobstadt, north of Mannheim in Germany, last Tuesday.
The man was, we understand inspecting a ceiling mounted overhead heater in the plant at a height of around seven metres, when the crane collided with the work platform the was working from causing him to fall to the concrete floor below.
He was airlift to a hospital in Würzburg, where he died the following morning.
This is not the first time we have learnt of a fatal incident involving an overhead crane and a work platform. We have no details of what type of lift it was, or if the lift was overturned in the incident.
Most of the previous incidents have involved scissor lifts which are knocked over by the travelling overhead crane. In previous cases the crane operator is focusing his attention on the load he is carrying and assumes that the rest of the crane bridge is clear of obstructions as is normally the case.
If the person in the platform spots the approaching crane he can take avoiding action by lowering the lift if he has time or trying to gain the crane operators attention. However the cranes are electric powered and most plants noisy, if the person in the platform is focusing on the work at hand he will be totally unaware of the danger until he feels it.
Those responsible for overhead cranes and those working in plants where they are present need to alert all involved that the lift will be working in the crane’s path and if possible disconnect the crane’s power supply or at least restrict its movement to keep it away from where the platform is working.