Fatal boom collapse prompts Kimberly fleet stand down

By Euan Youdale11 June 2013

Kimberly Access has grounded its fleet of Genie Z-135/70 booms after one of them collapsed last week onto the M25 highway in Buckinghamshire, UK.

The incident occurred at the rental company’s West London depot on Wednesday 5 June. The operator, who was the depot foreman, died at the scene, but has not been named.

In a letter to its customers this week Kimberly Group chairman Ray Ledger said the deceased was a highly qualified engineer with several years’ experience working in the sector. (Click here to see the open letter in full).

He added, “We would also confirm that the machine was one of a batch of 15 new Z-135/70 machines delivered by Genie during the past six weeks.”

“Following the incident we immediately took the decision to ground all our Genie Z-135’s, pending the outcome of investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).”

At Bauma in April, Kimberly demonstrated its commitment to the high reach sector by ordering two new 180 ft Genie SX-180 machines, following their launch at the exhibition. The Genie Z-135/70 has a working height of 135 ft.

In a statement immediately following the incident, Terex AWP, the manufacturer of the Genie Z-135/70, said it was very saddened to hear of the incident and its foremost concern was for the victim’s family.

"Terex AWP has dispatched technical experts to the scene and is working with experts to support the determination of the root cause of this tragic accident. We will also fully cooperate with authorities during their investigation to understand the cause of the accident."

In his letter Mr Ledger noted that interrogation of the system data held on the machine in question had not yet been carried out.

“At this stage the outcome of the HSE investigation is not yet known and in our view no conclusions can be reached regarding the reasons for the incident. In our opinion the only safe and responsible course of action is to re-affirm the grounding of all our Genie Z-135s until further notice.”

Mr Ledger added, “We obviously understand the considerable inconvenience that this action will be causing to our customers, however our primary concern continues to be the continued safety of our employees and of our customers' employees, and we would ask for your continued understanding and patience.”

Kimberly Access told AI that it could not comment further until official investigations have been carried out.

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