Cherry pickers, a slang term for construction lifts, are usually used to trim trees or aid workers in repairing building facades. A worker using a cherry picker at a church in Philadelphia sustained serious injuries recently after the lift toppled over onto the street approximately 50 feet below.
The construction accident happened at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at Race and 18th Streets in Philadelphia earlier this month. According to NBC Philadelphia‘s website, the Archdiocese says that a worker was in the basket of the cherry picker doing work on the rectory of the cathedral.
It’s not clear at this point why the lift toppled over, although investigators were looking into whether it could have been caused by uneven pavement, wind or both factors. It’s lucky no passersby were hurt; one man says he was driving on the street and stopped just before the lift toppled over into the road. Pictures on NBC Philadelphia’s website show the blue construction lift with its wheels dangling in the air.
The crane blocked almost the entire street, causing traffic to back up. It apparently took hours to remove the equipment.
The 33-year-old worker, meanwhile, was in stable condition after being transported to Hahnemann Hospital. He had been aided by fellow workers and emergency crews at the scene. Sources say he suffered a broken femur when the cherry picker fell. It’s lucky his injuries were not worse.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was expected to investigate as well.