Entrapment and crushing injuries in boom lifts most often occur when the operator is reversing, slewing, or elevating the platform into an unacknowledged obstruction. Unexpected movement of the boom is also a contributing risk factor. According to International Powered Access Federation data from 2012, 19 entrapment fatalities occurred in 2012.
Photo from NSW Trade & Investment Mine Safety Investigation Report of a 2014 fatality of worker, crushed while using a mobile elevated work platform. Photo shows the approximate position (after recovery of worker). Incident Report
When an operator of an aerial work platform becomes trapped between the control panel and the obstruction, serious injury or death can occur. Often the operator puts himself or herself into this risky situation by leaning over the guardrails or control panel to observe the wheels or base while traveling in an extended boom lift. Other hazards include uneven ground conditions, poor visibility at height, distractions (people or objects) in the path of the aerial work platform, placing objects in the platform that fall against the controls, and driving at high speed.
When an operator becomes trapped against the controls while the aerial work platform is traveling, the operator may no longer be able to control the movements of the machine, increasing the likelihood for serious injury or death.