The Danger of Using Boom Lifts on Masonry Restoration Projects

The Danger of Using Boom Lifts on Masonry Restoration Projects

Masonry restoration projects can be challenging, and construction companies often rely on boom lifts to make the work easier. The use of boom lifts reduces the need for scaffolding or other equipment, which can save time and money. However, boom lifts can also be dangerous, particularly when used on masonry restoration projects. In this post, we discuss the risks associated with using boom lifts on these types of projects and the best practices that should be followed to minimize those risks.

The main danger associated with using boom lifts on masonry restoration projects is the risk of the lift tipping over. Boom lifts are designed to lift heavy loads and elevate operators to high heights. However, their narrow base and lightweight structure make them susceptible to tipping over, especially on uneven or unstable ground. When a boom lift tips over, it can cause serious injuries or even death to those on board. In the photo, the operators each used one of their nine lives, and walked away from the scene, with just minor injuries.

Another danger of using boom lifts on masonry restoration projects is electrocution. Since masonry restoration projects sometimes require workers to be near overhead power lines, the risk of electrical shock is high. If a boom lift operator comes into contact with a live wire, they can be severely injured or even killed.

Additionally, when a boom lift is used on a masonry restoration project, it is crucial to ensure that it is parked on stable and level ground. Masonry projects can be done on high-rise buildings, and boom lifts are often placed on narrow platforms. Uneven ground can cause the platform to shift, leading to instability in the boom lift. Moreover, boom lifts should not be operated near traffic or areas with high winds.

One more risk of using boom lifts on masonry restoration projects is the possibility of falling debris. When workers are using boom lifts to reach heights for masonry work, they may dislodge or drop debris, which can injure people below. Heavy equipment like boom lifts can cause significant damage and harm when not used properly, leading to legal liability for the company.

In conclusion, while boom lifts are necessary pieces of equipment for masonry restoration projects, they can also be dangerous when used incorrectly. To prevent accidents, it is crucial to follow best practices for using boom lifts, such as ensuring stable and level ground, never parking near overhead power lines or moving vehicles, wearing proper safety gear and not overloading the boom lift weight capacity. Companies should also invest in proper training of their employees to prevent accidents and minimize the risks. Employing safe practices for boom lifts on masonry restoration projects can prevent accidents, maintain a safe workplace, and reduce potential liability.

Historic Masonry Restoration is not for the faint hearted …..

Historic Masonry Restoration is not for the faint hearted …..

Historic masonry restoration is a complex task that requires years of experience and specialized knowledge. It involves repairing, restoring, and preserving historic buildings that have suffered damage due to environmental factors, natural disasters, or simple aging. The process of historic masonry restoration is not for the faint-hearted as it poses a series of challenges to structural engineers, architects and consultants. In this post, we will delve into some of the challenges that professionals in the field of historic masonry restoration must overcome to carry out their work.

1. Preservation of Historical Significance:

When it comes to masonry restoration the core objective is to restore the structure to its original state, while preserving its architectural and historical significance. However, this can prove to be quite challenging as it requires an extensive knowledge of historical building techniques and materials. The difficulty often arises in finding matching materials and techniques to complete the restoration work, while preserving the historic authenticity of the structure.

2. Weather and Environmental Factors:

The weather plays a crucial role in the wear and tear of historic buildings. Harsh weather conditions have the adverse impact on the structures. Restoration experts have to consider the impact of the environment on the structure. This requires a thorough knowledge of the area’s climate, drainage patterns, temperature, and other weather-related factors, while keeping in mind the historic aspect of the building.

3. Technical Challenges:

Restoration experts face technical challenges when they have to work with aged materials. Over the years, the building materials wear and decay, weakening the structure’s overall integrity. Masonry restoration experts have to be skilled in identifying structural issues and finding the best resolution for those issues. The skillset of the experts comes into play when they have to deal with different types of masonry, including bricks, stone, lime, and other materials, each with their unique properties and techniques to address them.

4. Financial Challenges:

Masonry restoration projects require specific materials and techniques that can be expensive. Large projects require a considerable amount of funding, especially when the work needs to be completed within a specific timeline. It’s a major challenge to manage the restoration project financially while keeping in mind the historical significance and the stakeholders’ expectations.

5. Safety Precautions:

Historic buildings are often centuries-old, structurally unsound and a safety hazard. Masonry restoration experts must prioritize safety at all times when working on a project. The experts must have adequate knowledge of safety protocols such as OSHA regulations and jobsite safety measures when working on historic structures.


Historic masonry restoration is not for the faint-hearted. It requires a thorough understanding of various factors, including historical significance, weather, technical matters, financial constraints, and safety precautions. The challenge lies in meeting the stakeholders’ expectations and working within a specific timeline. The solutions to these challenges are found in a balance of technical knowledge and creative thinking, combined with a practical approach towards each restoration project. The work of masonry restoration experts continues to inspire valued historic structures, and we owe our gratitude to these hardworking professionals.

The No.1 Rule in Historical Masonry Restoration is always expect the unexpected…..

The No.1 Rule in Historical Masonry Restoration is always expect the unexpected…..

Expecting the Unexpected in Historical Masonry Restoration: The No.1 Rule


Historical masonry buildings are an important part of our architectural heritage and need to be preserved for future generations to appreciate. However, when it comes to restoring these structures, there is one rule that always holds true: expect the unexpected. From hidden construction flaws to unforeseen structural damage, there are countless surprises that can arise during a restoration project. As structural engineers and architects, it is essential to be well-prepared and well-informed to minimize the risks of these surprises and ensure the success of historical masonry restoration projects.

Be Thorough in Your Inspection

Before diving into a restoration project, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation of the historical masonry structure to identify any underlying issues and potential challenges. This includes assessing the overall construction, analyzing the material properties, evaluating the foundation, and examining the condition of the walls, roofs, and other key architectural features. By conducting a comprehensive inspection, you can better understand the building’s unique history, design, and structural integrity, allowing you to prepare for any surprises that may come your way.

Establish a Clear Plan of Action

Once you have conducted a thorough inspection, the next step is to develop a clear plan of action that outlines the scope of the restoration project, timelines, and budget. This plan should include details such as the type of materials to be used, the approach to restore the building’s structural integrity, and the necessary permits required for the project. Having a clear plan of action provides a roadmap for the restoration process, reduces the likelihood of unexpected challenges, and ensures that all stakeholders are on the same page.

Be Prepared to Adapt and Revise the Plan

As the restoration process unfolds, it is common to encounter unexpected challenges or complications that require adjustments to the plan of action. It is essential to be flexible and adapt to these changing circumstances to avoid costly delays or safety issues. For example, if a hidden structural issue is discovered during the restoration process, the approach to restoring the structure’s integrity may need to be revised. By being prepared to adapt and revise the plan, you can ensure that the project stays on track and is completed successfully.

Work with an Experienced Professional Team

Perhaps the most critical factor in a successful historical masonry restoration project is working with an experienced and qualified team of professionals. This includes structural engineers, architects, contractors, and historical experts who have a deep understanding of masonry construction and restoration. They can help you identify potential challenges from the outset, develop a comprehensive plan of action, and implement practical solutions that ensure the restoration project is completed safely and meets the necessary regulatory and compliance standards.

Recognize the Historical Significance of the Project

Finally, it is essential to recognize the historical significance of the restoration project and the value in preserving the building for future generations. Historical masonry structures often have a unique story that calls for a respectful approach to the restoration process. This involves working with historic preservationists, experts in the building’s architectural style, and other stakeholders who are invested in the project’s success. By recognizing and respecting the historical significance of the project, you can approach the restoration process with care and sensitivity.


Historical masonry restoration requires a combination of technical expertise, careful planning, and a reverence for the historical significance of the project. The No.1 rule for success in these projects is to expect the unexpected and be prepared to adapt when needed. By conducting a comprehensive inspection, developing a clear plan of action, working with an experienced professional team, and respecting the building’s history, you can ensure that these treasures of our architectural heritage are preserved for future generations to enjoy. As structural engineers , architects, and consultants it is our responsibility to approach these projects with care, attention to detail and reverence for the building’s rich history.