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Crane operator fall

12. October 2017 | Comments (1)

A crane operator is critically ill in hospital today after the boom truck he was operating overturned in Miami, Florida yesterday.

The incident occurred on a highway overpass widening project. The man, Eric Ballesteros, 37, had set up his Elliot 26105 boom truck on one of the two bridges that make up the overpass. He was lifting a timber pole of some sort into or from the road below the two bridge decks, and was operating the crane from the truck bed controls, when the crane overturned, causing him to slide off the truck bed and over the low parapet, dropping into the void and falling around six metres or so to the road below which was open to traffic.

Miami boom truck
The operator was standing on the truck bed to operate the controls closest to the edge so that he coudl see th eload, when the crane tipped

Thankfully he was not struck by a passing car, he was rushed to hospital where his condition is still described as critical. It is impossible not to draw the conclusion from the photographs, that he set the crane up with the load side outriggers retracted, so that he could get the truck close up to the edge of the bridge deck. This of course deprived the crane of the stability it needed to handle the load over the side, especially with no load on the truck bed and with the boom partially extended and lowered.

Miami boom truck
It looks as though the operator did not extend the loadside outriggers

Miami boom truck accident
As the truck tipped the operator simply slipped over the edge and dropped around six metres to the road below

Hopefully he will pull through this and survive the injuries he has sustained without life changing implications.

at the end of October Ballesteros is moving out of hospital to an assisted living home, to continue his recovery with a badly smashed leg, ankle and two broken wrists. His recovery is expected to take more than a year.
The investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.


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12. October 2017 22:45

It saddens me no end to continue to read stories like this. How can a certified (presumably) operator even think of raising the boom of a large boom truck without the outriggers out and down !?! If there are space constraints on the jobsite get a different machine. Make provisions for more room. Or, ultimately, refuse the job. Until we operators take a position of "No Outriggers No Work " these incidents will continue. I wish the operator a full and speedy recovery, I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers.




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