Approximately twenty minutes later the defendant, after striking the plaintiff, struck and damaged fifteen feet of a wall.
The plaintiff did not follow the scissor lift operation manual warning "Ensure that there is no person(s) in the path of travel." The plaintiff claimed he felt he could approach within one foot of a stationary person on a job site safely. The plaintiff claimed he did not have any training on the operation of the scissor lift because he had many years experience operating one and claimed he had no need to read the scissor lift operation manual.
My calculation of 1 mile/hour translates to 1.5 feet/second. (Given that there are 5,280 feet in a mile and 3,600 seconds in an hour) My calculation of 2 miles/hour translates to 3.0 feet/second. It is my opinion that 1.5 feet/sec to 3.0 feet per second is too dangerously fast to approach a pedestrian, especially in close quarters. The plaintiff testified he thought the scissor lift speed was 1 mph but did not know.
The defendant never should have traveled in the direction of the plaintiff in such close quarters, regardless of his perception "slow" speed. The GC should have not allowed the two contractors to work within such close proximity, especially with a scissor lift being operated among workers. Although OSHA�s forklift standards did not apply to a scissor lift, the defendant�s employer should have assured he had training and was capable of safely operating the scissor lift. The GC�s "Competent Person" was a supervisor who wore too many "hats" and was unable to properly supervise as evidenced by allowing a scissor lift to be operated by a careless operator.
Jon Pina, MS, CSP, is a Safety, Health, & Environmental Expert. With more than thirty years experience in safety management, loss prevention, construction and demolition, coal, chemical, steel, and hazardous waste abatement, Mr. Pina can observe cases from a well-rounded viewpoint of a Safety and Health professional, construction manager, and "hands on" worker. Among his most notable accomplishments, he has held the position of Construction Manager on many large-scale demolition projects. He also has demonstrated expertise in areas such as the operation of chemical plants and gained field experience as a union journeyman pipe fitter.
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