Kimberly puts Genie Z-135/70s back into service

06 May 2014

Kimbelry Platforms will put its fleet of Genie Z-135/70s back into service. The UK-based company withdrew the machines in June last year after one of them collapsed, resulting in the death of its operator.

The company announced its plans in a letter to its employees, sent on Friday 2 May, and said it had devised a new safety system and handover procedure. An inquest into the accident will be held in May, while a seperate Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation continues.

Here is the letter in full:

"As you know, the period since the fatal accident at our Iver Depot on 5 June, 2013 has been challenging and traumatic, particularly for those directly involved and of course Rick’s [the operator] family.

You will be aware that within an hour of the accident we put aside all financial considerations and took the decision to ground our remaining fleet of 24 Genie Z135’s.

In accordance with the promise to keep you totally informed we are now in a position to inform you that we are emerging from this difficult period in positive shape and ready to press forward with our strategy to be the major operator of large booms in the UK.

During the past months we have been placing great emphasis on investigating the cause of the accident and reviewing all aspects of the 135 operating systems under the guidance of independent forensic engineers who specialise in this work.

As a result of a great deal of work and input we are well versed in the cause of the accident, the details of which we cannot comment as this will be the subject of scrutiny by a coroners’ inquest to be held in May.

We can however inform you that Kimberly and its engineering advisors have devised a secondary safety system which has been reviewed by independent bodies who conclude that had this system been fitted to the fateful 135 then the accident would not have happened.

Furthermore, in order to continually improve the 135 operating standards and to encourage our clients to adapt safer working practices we are in the process of introducing new procedures which will include a new handover process.

During the next two weeks we will be issuing detailed information to all of our employees and relevant people will be subject to specific training exercises.

Let me make it very clear that the decision to put our 135 fleet back to work has been taken with the primary and only emphasis being that they are safe to use, and only following the actions described in this letter; i.e. if we were not totally satisfied that the 135 is now safe we would not be reversing our grounding policy and in fact we would have sold them.

Subject to completing certain self imposed hurdles and testing we are aiming to deploy the 135 fleet on 1 June 2014 which out of total respect to Rick’s memory and his family is after the coroner’s inquest."

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