Garry Holmen at Outlaws:
Jeff had great control of the weight but just lost balance. The kind of weight he was doing and the size of the man would have caused issues for ANY spotter behind him. Sure hide sight is 20 20 and maybe the spotters could have done something better, but the fact still remains it was a freak accident that was unfortunate and do happen in Powerlifting from time to time.
I have always been pro-walkout in the squat. I think after this incident I might change my mind. There absolutely needs to be a backup safety component while squatting. For the spotter's and lifter's sake. Maybe it's time to adopt the monolift and mandate safety straps across all federations.
Maybe we should use a power rack
I thought about that Jamie... it's hard to get enough spotters around a power rack. Too many pinch points. If someone dumps 900 lbs they'll probably be okay but it's just as bad when the spotters get their hands caught in between the weight and the safety bars. Monolift with straps is probably the best solution for both lifter and spotter safety. I've seen both in action. I've always believed that walkout was needed in the squat. But is it more important then lifter/spotter safety?
we now use the safety straps at out meets... not guaranteed to avoid all injuries, but at least the bar wont hit the floor and may prevent a few.
That is the one legit reason for a monolift. I know the guys at Diablo used to use a chain set up as a "just in case all else fails" method for squat training. I've dumped weights forward, backward and every way in between and sometimes the spotters could get me and a couple of times they could't. At APF Seniors I almost wound up in Maris' lap on my second attempt.I shot forward so fast there was no way the spotters could get me in time.... and missing a lift is different than dumping it and even that is different than what happens when a quad or a knee goes. When you miss a lift, generally a tiny bit of help from the spotters is all it takes - especially in a "walk out" meet. When you fall forward or backwards, typically the spotters can catch you - for me, I've been grinding out a lift and lose it and it's almost slow motion when I fall. However, I have seen a couple of times where a quad or a knee blows. It's a sudden drop and the weights and the lifter are just free falling. Spotters have very little time to react and if they are quick and things work out they can get the bar stable before it pins the lifter. With a little guy it's hard. With a huge guy like Jeff Lewis, the lifter, the spotters and the floor are all screwed. Things like this might be a good argument for squatting in a large power cage with a strap set up - at least that way the bar isn't going to crush anyone
Tommy and I use the same straps. They are rated at 11,000 lbs singled, and I have mine doubled. They are designed for lifting containers off ships. I got them from one of the ports in town.