At approximately 3:15 p.m. on July 27, 1994, Employee #1 and a coworker were told by their supervisor to shear steel plates and take the plates onto a barge to be welded later. The plates weighed approximately 17 pounds each and the two employees had between 20 and 30 plates to load onto the barge.
The coworker decided to use a high lift. On the high lift was a basket intended for personnel; the total weight in the basket was not to exceed 500 pounds.
The employees got in the basket, and added at least 17 steel plates, for a total weight of approximately 694 pounds. The coworker used the controls inside the basket to raise it to a height of 11 feet when he noticed the tires were bouncing and lifting up off the concrete work area.
Employee #1 was ejected from the basket and hit a large electrical control box. He died from head injuries.