Video Tells a Scary Story

by Carl Molesworth | September 28, 2010

Video Tells a Scary Story

Take a close look at the photo on this page. Yes, that’s a manlift driving over an obstacle no higher than a curb, and no, fortunately, that’s not a man getting thrown around like a dummy in the cage. It’s a dummy.

Still, you get the idea. And if you want to get a better idea of why it’s important for lift operators to be properly trained and strapped in, have I got a video for you.

The UK-based International Powered Access Federation has released a dramatic video that shows the dangers of not wearing a full body harness on a boom-type access platform.

The IPAF video features a live demonstration in which a crash dummy fitted to a specially modified Skyjack boom shows the effects of driving over a low-lying obstacle. For safety reasons, the crash dummy is suspended at the top of the basket. The dummy is not wearing a harness, in order to show the consequences of the catapult and jolting effects when the boom goes over an obstacle.

“This video is a vivid illustration of why operators should wear harnesses on boom-type platforms,” said IPAF Managing Director Tim Whiteman. “The industry must prevent unnecessary deaths where people are catapulted from booms. Let us keep this safe method of working at height even safer.”

The video can be viewed and downloaded at the Publications/Film section of Alternatively, e-mail your request for a free copy to

Take a look at it. We all know that there are lots of ways to get hurt on a job site, and this short video could help you or someone who works with you avoid suffering a nasty injury – or even getting killed.

National Perspective

On the national scene, Associated Builders and Contractors reported in August that non-residential construction activity continues to expand despite mounting expectations to the contrary. According to ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu, growth in certain key construction segments continues to be impressive. With the global demand for energy and food still apparent, he does not expect construction related to these segments to experience a slowdown in activity anytime soon.

However, the ABC economist continues to believe that the string of monthly records will soon be interrupted by an upcoming monthly decline. While that has yet to occur in 2008, it is anticipated that any downturn in activity may be quite brief. Recently, there has been a series of positive developments that hint at a quick reversal of any downturn in activity to come.

The U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and others remain very aggressive in dealing with the ongoing credit crunch, Basu said. He noted that banks cannot make money unless they are lending, and therefore the banking sector cannot remain in its lending hibernation for an extended period of time. In addition, crude oil prices have fallen from their peak of $147 a barrel achieved earlier this summer, and this may allow a higher proportion of nonresidential projects now in planning stages to move ahead. Furthermore, a still weak U.S. dollar continues to support strong export activity, which should continue to encourage manufacturing construction in certain key industrial segments, he added.