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Safety harness saves Hamilton city worker who was hanging lights

Hamilton holiday lights
Posted at 11:33 AM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 11:33:41-05

HAMILTON, Ohio — It could have ended in tragedy, but thanks to a safety harness a Hamilton city worker thrown from a bucket while hanging Christmas lights on Monday was not injured.

Jacob Deaton was positioned in a bucket on a city truck hanging lights in a tree at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Court Street about 1:10 p.m. when the arm was hit by a box truck, knocking Deaton out of the bucket, according to the Hamilton police accident report.

Deaton was hanging in mid-air from his safety harness, but was not injured.

“He’s lucky,” said Bill Hudson, Hamilton’s director of utility operations. “It scared me to death just hearing it.”

The city truck was parked on the side walk, but the bucket was hanging over the street in a lane of travel, according to report.

The city truck did not have cones in the street or a device to warn there were crews working in the trees, the report said.

The driver of the truck, Benjamin Breaker, was not injured.

Hudson said the department is investigating the incident and reviewing safety procedures.

“We have had our safety guy here today. Took statements from everyone involved and will get the police report,” he said. “We are doing an investigation to see if our protocol has been followed and if it had not, then find out why not and we will go from there.”

The department is in the middle of a two-week schedule hanging lights in the city’s downtown area for the holidays, then will move to the Lindenwald neighborhood.

Hudson said the bucket was badly damaged and will have to be repaired, so the incident could put them a little bit behind schedule.

Deaton returned to work Tuesday.