Spotted by a reader in the UK, a tree care worker using a spider lift to carry out his work, but not quite as intended, in order to gain better or ‘different’ access to the tree limbs.
Our man has used an arbor/climbing rope and strop to suspend himself from the basket of the platform, while a co-worker operates the platform – a well equipped Teupen – to lift the suspended man using the boom elevate function, before slewing him into the centre of the tree’s foliage.
We have no doubt of their ability to rig a decent suspended rope cradle, but he has attached himself to the platform by simply placing a sling around the guardrail corner post and over the toeboards. The aluminium guardrail is not designed to handle loads in this manner. Although to be fair to them it does appear as though they might have taken a safety line from the anchor strop (possibly to a harness anchor point?) as a backup.
The other question is platform capacity, many of these mid-range spider lifts have a maximum 200-250kg platform capacity. Two fit lumberjacks with all their kit cannot be far off that, even before you add the ropes and anchors, a couple of chainsaws and the fact that the suspended man is placing a load further out from the machine base than intended.
If the machine did overturn – perhaps due to the effort of pulling the suspended man from the tree or a dynamic loading – not only would he fall with the machine, but the platform would likely land on him, crushing him against the chainsaw that is hanging from his waist.
A+ for using powered access
F- for using it incorrectly and poorly. If you must get a crane and a bosun’s chair.
Definitely one for our Death Wish series – have a safe weekend everyone!