Barely avoided tragedy yesterday!

Me and one of my guys were in a 60’ boom lift and got hit by a school bus!

No joke.

[U][B]Let me start by saying this; if it wasn’t for WCR over the past 2 years my guy and I would probably be in a hospital right now.[/B][/U] (reason; because of all the threads about boom lift safety after Carl finds the tragedies and reports them)

We won a bid for a nice gutter cleaning job and since it was gonna have to be boomed, and couldn’t use the sidewalks (rated under 5000 pounds) I coned off a lane and a half, and caution taped it. Plus, I had a girl running traffic control, AND a spotter for the lift.

Everyone had radios.

So I am operating the lift around from the busy street side to the side street and because of a dip in the road I get a tilt warning and the controls go next to dead.

Traffic is getting backed up because now I am in the middle of the road and there is only half a lane open, people are getting ****ed and just blasting by disregarding my people (just a couple).

Next comes a school bus- you would think he of all people would be the most cautious given his load, but nope he trys to inch by while I am looking the other way.

Suddenly me and my guys’ radios start squakin’ and I stop and look behind me and there it is, the yellow submarine and he cuts his corner to close about half way out of his turn and clips our basket! I was hitting the horn and yelling at this clown pretty loud, other passerby were yelling at him and honking at him too.

If I did not have a spotter and traffic control, it would have been a very bad thing. Many people could have gotton hurt. The bus was empty, but what if it wasn’t?!

[B]The messed up part is, the driver pulled over, got out, and told me that I should be more careful!!![/B]

Really? “You know what creep, you should have waited like we asked, or take another road stupid.” After he responded thats when I found out there were no kids inside.

Those of you who are just starting out getting into using a boom lift, PLEASE read this little story as a lesson. Always, always [U][B]ALWAYS[/B][/U] have someone to direct traffic EVEN IF THEY IGNORE YOU, and they will. Make sure you always have a spotter for your lift on the ground whenever it is being operated. [B][U]Don’t think that you will be saving money by not doing this.[/U][/B]

Don’t make headlines in your town. Be safe.

Man glad to hear your ok! I guess it’s a good lesson for everyone who reads this too- thanks for sharing.

Also- I hope that driver loses his job or gets a ticket at the very least. We all have to obey the law when a bus stops and puts out the little stop sign- no matter how inconvenient it is. This guy needs to reciprocate.

Wow amazing… glad you are okay.

Glad you’re OK bro! It just goes to show you can’t be too safe and you can’t fix stupid!

Glad you’re ok! Great story & lesson for the future.

Yo Tory…

Say did you have to work with the city to be able to block the street ? Is that part of the city of SD ordinances ?

Glad you survived…Things happen even to those who have all their T’s crossed an I’s dotted !

That guy in Huntington beach suffered a sad day, I’m really sorry for him and his family…Think safe Yawl !

Danger in our industry / Dangerous Dange

It’s great to hear you are all ok.


Yep. It was a whole lot less than in downtown. You gotta pay for the meters etc…it don’t matter though, remember that one video that was posted here about a year ago about the guys who got electricuted and they caught on fire? No spotter. Not even a crew leader. That was bad.

Glad you had the systems in place to help keep you safe Tory. It goes to show that no matter how much you plan you can’t account for everything, especially that of others. But if you didn’t have the crew on the ground it could have been a lot worse.

I would suggest keeping a paint ball gun up in the basket. You could fire at the windshield before he hit you.

Glad your safe Sal - I don’t know if traffic lights would have helped you? Just googled them & found some for $44! Perhaps this could be a control mechanism & the spotters could take more interest in the movement?

Damm Bud, Im glad your ok… Thats crazy

Glad everybody is OK. I too have been clipped by careless drivers while in a lift. All true: throw out everything you’ve got: barricades, cones, “lane closed” signs. The most effective thing we’ve done, however, is use police officers. Call the local FOP (Police station will put you in touch), get a couple officers, and cruisers if need be. We’ve had NO problems when we use them. People mind their manners around them, and can get in real trouble (not just potentially killing the window cleaner) for being this stupid. They usually ask around $25.00 per man hour, 3 hr min. per officer. Well worth it.

Sounds affordable!

I’ve been told when you block a lane of traffic in Toronto, the city charges you $90/hr per officer, and you MUST retain a minimum of 2 of them, so it’s $180/hr.

Very expensive. I believe there’s a 3-hr minimum too.

I’m not certain, though.

Tory: WOW. Glad you’re okay. Oh, man.

I’m very happy you are alive to post this lesson Tory!

Now THAT sounds pretty ultimate right there! I don’t think people would blast by officers, no way. I will look into it next week. Thank you for that.

Glad to hear no one was hurt.

Glad your okay Tory, scary story.

I think if you need to stop traffic and the town is to assist and charge you, that cost should pass that cost right on to the customer.

sure, it does. there are quite a few businesses out here that in the last couple years, because of money, have straight out told me they were not concerned with insurance, osha, or city and state ordinance. usually I won’t even give them an estimate if thats the case.

I always add the cost in my estimates and invoices, as a separate line item, with a copy of the company who does it for me, their estimate and plan if im not doing it myself.

Glad your here to tell!

Back in the mid 90’s I was in a bucket attached to a crane and the controls locked up running me into the building. Luck for me it was above a big plate window. It dug into the brick pretty good though. Fireman ladder truck had to come get me down. I wasn’t hurt but a little shackin.

Always be on your toes when using lifts. One blink and it could be tragic. Bad thing is you can’t account for idiots not paying attention.

Tory…my Brother…That sucks! Im sorry to hear that happened to you but Im glad that you and your guys are OK.

I spent all of my adult life working construction in the streets and highways. In the 80’s and 90’s guys were killed on the freeways on a fairly regular basis. Then, around 2001 the rules changed and the California Highway Patrol would sit on the job-site with us on every single job and the death rates from workers getting struck by vehicles dropped to zero. In the cities we would ask the police for extra patrols to enforce reduced speed limits and that helped us out as well. Police presence definitely helps and the extra cost is always included in the bid and generally accepted by the customer.