General contractors discuss high lift safety after deadly accide - - The News for South Mississippi

General contractors discuss high lift safety after deadly accident

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Wednesday's accident at the Lower Buckeye Jail. (Source: CBS 5 News) Wednesday's accident at the Lower Buckeye Jail. (Source: CBS 5 News)

Randall Malone and John Boelhauf are retired general contractors. Both were the owners of their own companies for a decade.

Each man has years of experience working on and around high lifts like the one involved in a deadly accident at the Lower Buckeye Jail.

On Wednesday investigators said two men fell to their death after the high lift they were in tipped over.

Malone said several things could have gone wrong to cause the accident.

"The main thing is just not going too fast. You want to keep the balance and not overload them. You definitely don't want to get to that tipping point. Getting to that tipping point is usually what brings them down," said Malone.

According to investigators from the Maricopa County Sheriff's office the lift was parked on a slope. 

Investigators confirmed the bucket was extended 50 to 60 feet in the air.  What we detectives don't know is how far the crew was extended out from the base.

"It's not so much how high it is. It's how far out. That's the key. That's the one that get's you right there," said Boelhauf.

"What happens is the weight distribution shifts. It will bottom up. It could fall over. It could go sideways if you are on unstable ground," said Malone.

It's unknown if the high lift had outriggers to keep it stable or sensors to alert the crew if it wasn't level. Investigators also couldn't confirm if the men were strapped in the bucket with a safety harness.

"Usually you have a safety lanyard and you are attached to the basket," said Malone.

MCSO confirmed several agencies are investigating the deadly accident including OSHA.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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