This case involves a construction worker who was fatally injured while using a defective aerial lift. At the time of the incident, the worker was using the lift to install metal braces of the ceiling of a big box retail store. The plaintiff was working alone, and using a widely available model of aerial lift, when the machine’s lifting switch somehow became stuck in the “up” position. As a result of this malfunction, the lift was raised into the ceiling while the operator was trapped in the basket, fatally crushing him. It was alleged that the lift was designed in such a way that it was possible for the switch to become stuck in the “up” position, directly contributing to this man’s death.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your familiarity and experience with the design of man baskets for aerial lifts.
- 2. Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If so, please explain.
Expert Witness Response E-073649
My expertise in the subject of man baskets and aerial lifts was first developed when I spent two years as a Safety Professional for a renowned mechanical contractor. The nature of our work required me to serve as an in-house expert in aerial lift operations, safety, and training. From there, I was certified as an aerial lift trainer and have trained and certified over 300 employees on various types of aerial lifts. Now being on the General Contractor side, I have been exposed to a wide variety of aerial lift uses by many trades and subcontractors on our large scale sites. I have also been able to participate in incident reviews and root cause analysis meetings focused on aerial lift incidents, including a similar incident involving an aerial lift pinning and asphyxiating an employee. It is likely that the design of the lift in this case directly contributed to the man’s death.