Notre Dame University Creates Aerial Lift Safety Website
The University of Notre Dame has created a website, LiftUpRight.org, about how to be safe when using aerial lifts, as part of a settlement over the death of a 20-year-old student last October. The student, Declan Sullivan, of Long Grove, Illinois, was on a scissor lift to videotape a Notre Dame football practice, when he was blown to the ground in 50-mile-per-hour winds. Aerial lifts are used by high schools and colleges to videotape band and football practice. They are also widely used by the construction industry.
Last March, Notre Dame banned hydraulic lift use on campus, and some other schools have built permanent observation towers that videographers can use instead of the aerial lifts. LiftUpRight.org reports: “Each year, nearly 30 people die in aerial lift accidents, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.”
In June, the university agreed to pay a $42,000 fine for safety violations. Groups endorsing the “Up Right!” awareness campaign include the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Association [IOSHA], the University Risk Management and Insurance Association, the Campus Safety Health and Environmental Management Association, the National Federation of State High School Associations, and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
The LiftUpRight.org site provides information that schools need to take into consideration when using aerial lifts, on the correct setup, training, weather conditions, and the importance of having a safety contact in order to avoid injury. There are also helpful videos, downloadable posters, fact sheets, and wind limit signs, plus links and resources, such as facts about anemometers (wind gauges).
Paul Steinbach, Senior Editor of Athletic Business Newswire, shares a quote from Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president:
‘While we cannot bring Declan back, we have said since last fall that we are committed to working with the Sullivan family and IOSHA to share the lessons we have learned to help reduce the possibility of an accident like this ever happening again,’ said Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president. ‘The materials and information provided on the website are a part of our effort in that regard, and while not a substitute for formal training, they’re a start for helping others understand key considerations for aerial lift safety.’
Following is a video from LiftUpRight.org:
Image by The UP RIGHT! awareness campaign, used under Fair Use: Reporting.