I watched amazed at this lifting operation in Auckland last night. From where I was watching it appeared that the load went over the head of the workers and drivers several times, which is a fatal risk if anything goes wrong with the load.
The load itself was often very cumbersome, long and skinny and prone to being moved around by the wind. It didn’t look like it would be too hard for a decent gust to tip the load so that it fell.
Meanwhile the lift went over the top of the shop verandahs each time, and pedestrians were free to freely walk back and forth.
One truck driver, not pictured as he had left before I started taking pictures, seemed to understand the risks, and he would move away from the suspended load, and seemed quite annoyed when it was lifted over his head. And justifiably so.
Another driver, not part of the lifting process, saw me taking pictures and we had a safety chat. He agreed that there was a risk to pedestrians, and explained that the Auckland City Council had signed off on the lift. I left the issue with him to follow up, as the supervisor was out of sight on the roof. He did not seem to feel empowered to do anything about the process, which was problematic.
I suggest that the City Council reexamine the procedures on this and for all lift. I’d also suggest that the lifting company do the same, and most of all I’d suggest that any and all workers in this situation should stop the lift if they see these sorts of risks.
Do this or it’s just a matter of time before someone dies.
I walked another way.