This case takes place in North Carolina and involves a construction worker who was injured by a defective boom lift while working on a commercial construction project. The Plaintiff was a master electrician who had been tasked with the installation of ceiling lights in a big box retail store. In order to perform work on the ceiling of the store, the Plaintiff was operating a boom lift that had been rented from a heavy equipment rental company. When the Plaintiff originally rented the equipment, he had been assured that the lift had been inspected and was in proper working order. On the day of the accident, the Plaintiff and another worker entered the platform of the lift and began ascending towards the ceiling. As the platform approached the ceiling, the Plaintiff found that the lift’s “stop” function was not working. As a result, the lift pressed both men into the ceiling, causing them to sustain severe crushing injuries. It is alleged that the rental company failed to adequately inspect the lift before renting it to the Plaintiff.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. How often should lifts of this nature be inspected?
Expert Witness Response E-008230
I have been involved in multiple aerial lift accident cases in the past. In my experience, rental companies can fail to provide safe equipment in multiple ways – failing to properly inspect their lifts, ignoring necessary repairs and maintenance, or failing to replace important warning labels and decals if they are removed. Failing to inspect lifts before they are rented out often causes accidents of this nature, and there are a multitude of OSHA requirements that dictate the nature and extent of inspections that must be performed before equipment can be rented out. Ultimately, it is the rental company’s responsibility to ensure that their equipment is safe to use. Depending on the exact classification of this job-site, different aspects of OSHA codes may apply, and there is also the matter of state and local regulations that may effect the exact nature of the liability here, but it is a fairly clear case of negligence on the part of the rental company to supply defective and dangerous equipment. I have written a number of publications related to the use of aerial lifts for industry publications, as well as safety guides for OSHA.