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Texas Court Case Concludes, Six Years after Aerial Lift Accident

Construction workers

Improper safety results in many unpleasant consequences. One of those is the sheer length of time for legal action to take its course. For one Texas case, it took six years of legal wrangling to finally conclude.

In 2009, aerial lift worker Walter Matak was killed when another worker moved the lift he was working in. Matak was 40 feet up in the air. When the lift moved, Matak fell out, resulting in his death.

A Texas high court heard numerous appeals, including one that attempted to fault the aerial lift’s design as ultimately responsible for Matak’s death.

According to official court records of the court’s opinion: “The risk is that a user will ignore the instructions in the user manual, the signs on the lift itself, and the danger, obvious to even a casual observer, that the lift will tip if the outriggers are removed when a person is on a fully elevated platform. ” the state high court said. So obvious is the risk of danger from misuse of the lift that the evidence does not reflect a single other accident involving a fully extended 40 feet lift.”

This decision is a relief to Genie, maker of the AWP–40S lift.

The court wouldn’t say that Matak’s co-worker was totally blameless, as OSHA regulations discourage movement of an aerial lift while a worker is extended in the air.

This is just one example of how safety violations can ruin lives, result in lawsuits and disrupt daily life. That’s one major reason why Aerial Lift Certification takes your safety seriously. With plenty of in-house OSHA expertise, we can help your company avoid the pitfalls similar to this recent Texas high court hearing.

ALC is here to help. To learn more, please visit our contact page, or call an ALC safety expert at (888) 278-8896.

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