Workers often have to do repairs or work in areas that are high above the ground or floor, such as in suspended racks, on the sides of buildings, or near electrical wires. A Man Basket is necessary to ensure that workers are able to perform their job at elevated levels in a safe manner, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “need a lift?” Anyone who utilizes fork lifts in their day-to-day operation can quickly and safely transport maintenance personnel where they are needed. Not only are they a safer option than trying to balancing on the fork tines or perching a maintenance main precariously on a suspended wooden pallet, but the use of secured baskets is also an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulation.
It is a good idea to allow only qualified employees who have demonstrated an understanding of a man basket’s proper procedures to use it. Before use, always inspect the basket and its connection points to the lift truck for deficiencies. It is extremely important never to use one a basket that has been compromised or damaged, since this creates high risk of failure during use. Safely securing it to the fork lift carriage or load backrest is extremely important. Once it is secured to the fork lift, it is very important that the forks do not move at all. The use of fall protection safety harnesses securely attached to the unit is also necessary. Additionally, workers and fork lift operators need to check to make sure adequate overhead clearance is available before any lift is performed.
Good communication and pre-designated hand signals between the occupants and fork lift operator will help minimize any injuries to the people involved or structural damage to the basket, the racks, or the building being worked on. Workers need to keep all body parts inside the basket, while being sure not to stand on or reach over rails. Consider any over extension of the basket’s confines as being “out of bounds”. Additionally, the operator should not leave the seat of the fork lift, or the controls, unattended while the occupants are hoisted above. Establish a perimeter box several feet from the fork lift and basket, and keep all pedestrians a safe distance from any elevated work. When completed, once again, proper hand signaling and communication between the fork lift operator and person in the basket are essential to ensure the workers are lowered safely back down to ground level. Only when the unit has been cleared by all workers should it be unattached from the fork lift.
A man basket that is used sensibly and responsibly offers endless opportunities of elevated work to be completed safely and efficiently.