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Insulated aerial lift devices (often called bucket trucks) and cherry pickers have become standard equipment for many companies. The purpose of the equipment is to provide a work platform that is both insulated and safe. Unfortunately, accidents involving aerial lift devices occur on a daily basis. The most common reasons these accidents occur include flaws in the design, inadequate warnings, and lack of training or supervision.
The bucket part of the device operates as a platform to support the employee as he stands. The driver of the truck raises the platform to allow the employee to reach problem areas in high places. This might include not just repairing of telephone or electrical lines, but also cutting trees and installing road signs and billboards. The bucket truck allows workers to reach places that would ordinarily be inaccessible. From this height, it’s safe to say that a fall would more than likely result in a serious injury or wrongful death.
Anytime you are working at an elevated height, you run the risk of a fall injury. In the case of a cherry picker or bucket truck, there are additional hazards as well. Quite often, bucket trucks and cherry pickers attached to vehicles; this means their mobility puts them at risk for sudden movement or being struck by another vehicle. Some of the common causes of injuries involving bucket trucks include:
- Falling or being ejected from the lift
- Electrocution resulting from contact with power lines
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2011 that there were 39 fatalities directly related to the use of cherry pickers and aerial lifts that were not mounted on a truck. In addition, there were 66 fatalities that occurred because of truck mounted lifts with another 34 fatalities that listed bucket trucks or cherry pickers as the secondary cause of death. The fatalities that occurred from electrocution were not included in these figures.
Prevention of bucket truck & cherry picker injuries.
Because of the risk factors involved with bucket trucks, following safety precautions is essential. Workers must be fully trained and supervised, and the use of the following safety precautions can greatly reduce the risk of an injury:
- Inspection of the equipment before use
- Use safety precautions on the worksite such as safely parking the equipment and never moving the truck when there is anyone inside the lift
- Make sure all loads are stable
- Ensure all loads fit into the weight parameters the manufacturer recommends
- Make sure to maintain all safety equipment in proper working order
It’s important to keep in mind that an employer may be held liable for any bucket truck injuries that occur due to the company’s failure to properly train workers, failure to maintain the units in proper working order, or failure to provide adequate and necessary safety equipment. In addition, if the accident was caused by the failure of the equipment, you may have cause for a product liability claim again the equipment’s manufacturer.
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The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.