It was a rented truck and the worker did not use the outriggers as designed!
UPDATE, Worker's error caused fatal fall, official says
By John Ellement, Globe Staff, 11/26/2002
A Tewskbury man killed in a fall while hanging Christmas lights on Waltham Common had failed to properly secure all stabilizing parts, a Waltham Fire Department official said yesterday. ''It was an accident, and it appears to be operator error,'' Waltham Deputy Fire Chief Richard Cardillo said in a telephone interview yesterday. Dennis O'Neil, a 38-year-old father of two, was in the bucket of a cherry picker, installing Christmas lights on the Waltham Common, when he fell about 50 feet to the ground, officials said. O'Neil was working for Brite-Lite Electrical Co. of Weymouth. The company issued a press release yesterday saying it was ''saddened'' by O'Neil's death and that it was cooperating with investigators in the fatal accident. ''We are saddened by the tragic loss of our employee and friend,'' the company said in its statement. ''Our thoughts and prayers are with Dennis's family.'' The company did not return a telephone call seeking comment on the preliminary finding that the accident was caused by operator error. ''We are currently working with investigators to determine the cause of this accident,'' the company said in its statement. Cardillo said the truck has outriggers that are supposed to stick out 6 to 8 feet from the sides of the truck and provide stability while the cherry picker is operated. ''The outriggers were down, but not extended,'' Cardillo said. Cardillo said Brite-Lite rented the truck from Colvin's Aerial Trucks in Waltham. A Colvin company official said the firm could not comment about the accident until the investigation is complete. Cardillo and Waltham Police Detective Sergeant Timothy King said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be the main investigative agency. King said the truck has been impounded for the investigation. Waltham officials could not be reached for comment. A lighting ceremony on the Common is scheduled for Friday, according to the city's Web site.
Be safe, your family is counting on you!