Transferring crew from one location to another at any job site is essential for the timely completion of work. This is particularly true for construction and maintenance jobs, offshore marine activities, manufacturing hubs, and mining.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that no equipment can be used to hoist employees unless there is evidence citing that using conventional means is not feasible.

Personnel baskets, also known as crane man baskets or lifting man baskets, are gaining massive popularity due to their ability to safely lift workers and facilitate easy movement across the job site.

The best thing about these baskets is that they enhance the safety of the workers without compromising on the mechanical advantage.

This post sheds light on personnel baskets – their standard features, applications, types, and safety procedures to help you use them most advantageously.

A. Standard Features of a Personnel Basket

A personnel basket (commonly referred to as a man basket on job sites) can be used to safely suspend and transfer workers from one place to another via either a crane or a forklift. Owing to their stability, flexibility, strength, and durability, they are extensively used in the construction industry.

Here are some standard features of a personnel basket:

  • They are inward opening and have a self-locking gate.
  • They have expanded metal sides.
  • They have a grab rail around the interior perimeter.
  • They have a slip-resistant plate floor.
  • They have a quick attach/detach test weight.
  • They have a toe plate, handrail, and lanyard pad eyes.
  • They have a detachable test weight included with forklift pockets.
  • They have stainless steel data plate. These sometimes also come with RFID tracking.
  • They have a highly durable enamel point.
  • They are proof tested to 125%.
  • They surpass the ASME B30.23 personnel lifting systems safety standard.

B. Applications of a Personnel Basket

Lifting man baskets available for rental can find a wide variety of uses. Knowing about these uses and applications will help you make the right decision concerning man basket rental.

1. Personnel Rescue

A personnel rescue basket can be of immense help if a worker is injured on a construction site. A high safety factor for lifting personnel provides a safe and secured means for extracting the injured person from any location that the crane can access.

Heavy-duty personnel rescue baskets can even fit an ambulance stretcher for emergency transport. The baskets comprise four tie-down points to keep the stretcher secured. Further, lanyard hook points provide easy access to rescue workers.

The lower half of the basket is enclosed in mesh to keep everything in place during transport, while the open upper half allows the medical team to rescue the patient.

2. Construction and Maintenance

Man baskets are used to safely lift construction workers using telehandlers. They should, however, follow OSHA and ANSI guidelines applicable to construction work platforms. The right baskets can facilitate the seamless movement of workers from one point of the construction site to another.

Personnel baskets also feature a replaceable traction grit plywood floor, high tubular sides, side latching doors, high kick plate, and a provision to install safety harness hooks.  The lifting is achieved due to a thick telescoping boom that can reach about 50 feet.

Personnel baskets mounted on a telehandler are used for commercial and residential construction, bridge and overpass construction, inspection and maintenance works, commercial painting, pressure washing, and sand-blasting.

3. Mining

Heavy-duty crane lift baskets play an integral role in helping suspended workers reach elevated work areas when ladders, scaffolds, stairways, aerial lifts, and personnel hoists cannot be used safely and effectively.

Genuine OSHA-approved man baskets are regularly inspected and tested so that the safety of the workers is never at stake.

4. Lifting

If a worker needs to be lifted at a job site without using a crane, a forklift personnel basket can prove to be highly useful. Additionally, these crane baskets are integral when it comes to reaching high warehouse shelves or signage.

A forklift personnel basket can be used to pick up orders, maintain inventory, change light bulbs or electrical fixtures, carry out warehouse maintenance, paint roofs or walls, and install overhead plumbing.

C. OSHA Regulations for Personnel Baskets

OSHA has strict regulations that every manufacturer of personnel baskets must abide by. Customers should also be familiar with these guidelines to ensure that their personnel basket rental meets all quality and safety parameters.

According to OSHA, all personnel baskets must be designed by a certified engineer. The design should be able to support its weight as well as five times the maximum intended load. Both these weight loads must be marked on the basket so that the consumer can easily spot them at the time of purchase.

OSHA further states that all personnel baskets must have a guard rail encompassing the entire rim of the basket. The height of the rail must be sufficient to prevent the user or the tools from falling.

The access gates should be open toward the inside of the basket and have safety latches to prevent the gate from opening accidentally. Additionally, it should provide sufficient room to the users.

The harnesses that attach the personnel basket to the crane’s derrick must allow the basket’s load to be positioned among the bridle legs. The rigging system comprising the bridles, links, and shackles must be used only to support the basket.

All the attachment mechanisms and hooks should close and lock in so that the hook doesn’t open suddenly, leading to an accident.

OSHA-approved man baskets also come with load restrictions. Care should be taken by the users so that they don’t exceed the maximum designated load. The lines supporting the brakes must be able to support at least seven times the intended load. Only trained workers should be permitted to use the basket when raised.

In terms of inspection and testing, OSHA states that the basket should be loaded to its expected weight before being deployed at a work site. The baskets must be raised to the expected height before using so that there’s no doubt regarding their efficacy. All safety devices and controls on the basket and crane must be checked thoroughly to ensure crane man basket safety.

Further, the employer must conduct frequent safety checks of the baskets and notify new workers about the related safety regulations.

D. Our Personnel Lifting Baskets

At Holloway Houston, INC, we have a wide array of man basket rentals to suit the unique needs of our diverse customers. Some of our popular products include:

2 Man Basket

Some standard features of our forklift man basket rental for 2 man are:

  • Compatible for use with a crane or other lifting equipment
  • Designated safe workload of 620 lbs
  • Expanded mesh sides having toe board, grab rails, and non-slip deck
  • Inward opening gate equipped with a spring-loaded lock
  • Rated anchor points for fall arrest lanyard connection
  • Powder-coated with yellow for safety
  • Detachable test weight
  • Forklift access for easy handling
  • 4-leg suspension system with master link ensuring even distribution of load among legs
  • Proof tested to 125% of rated capacity
  • Exceeds ASME B30.23 “Personnel Lifting Systems” standards
  • Exceeds 2 man basket OSHA 1926.550/1926.1501 standards

3 Man Basket

Some standard features of our 3 man basket rental are:

  • Safe to use with forklifts
  • Designated safe workload of 900 lbs
  • Comes with expanded mesh, toe board, grab rails, and non-slip deck
  • Consists of rated anchor points for fall arrest lanyard connection
  • Powder-coated with yellow for safety
  • Equipped with a side gate for easy entry and exit
  • 5:1 safety factor

5 Man Basket

Some standard features of our 5 man basket rental are:

  • Safe to use with forklifts
  • Designated safe workload of 1500 lbs
  • Comes with an inward opening, self-locking gate
  • Equipped with expanded metal sides
  • Comprises grab rail around the interior perimeter
  • Slip-resistant plate floor
  • Consists of quick attach/detach test weight
  • Painted yellow (for safety)
  • Exceeds standards for “Personnel Lifting Systems”
  • Tested to 125% of working load limit

12 Man Basket

Some standard features of our 12 man basket rental are:

  • Safe to use with a crane or other compatible lifting equipment
  • Designated safe workload of 3,600 lbs
  • Comes with expanded mesh sides, grab rails, and a non-slip deck
  • Equipped with inward opening gate and spring-loaded lock
  • Features rated anchor points for fall arrest lanyard connection
  • Powder-coated with yellow for safety
  • Comprises detachable test weight
  • Concrete counterweight to minimize side sway
  • Forklift access for easy handling
  • 4-leg suspension system having a master link, ensuring even distribution of load among legs
  • Proof tested to 125% of rated capacity
  • Exceeds ASME B30.23 “Personnel Lifting Systems” standards
  • Exceeds OSHA 1926.550/1926.1501 standards
  • 5:1 safety factor

E. Safety and Transfer Procedures

Workers at a job site often need to be transferred by crane man baskets for the completion of the project. During the transfer, a specific set of guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of both men and machines. Here’s what needs to be done:

  • No worker should stand near the basket until it completely resets itself on the vessel. Workers should approach the basket only when instructed by the deck crew.
  • The workers must stand in the center of the basket, ensuring an even distribution of load.
  • The baskets should never be used for the transfer of machinery or equipment.
  • The workers must wear a life vest before stepping onto the basket.
  • The workers need to place one foot on the basket ring and the other on the vessel with a slightly bent knee while boarding.
  • The workers must grasp the ropes that form the webbing and then interlock their arms through them in a crisscross form for a better grip.
  • The basket should be lifted only when the deck crew signals for it.
  • As the basket is lowered, the workers must set out one foot at a time when exiting it.

Conclusion

Transferring workers across a job site is now a common practice. Apart from improving efficiency and productivity, crane man baskets enhance workers’ safety and help avoid accidents and mishaps.

However, the baskets need to meet the necessary ASME standards and follow OSHA guidelines to be able to serve their respective purpose. This guide should help you understand the standard features of personnel basket, their applications, and the safety procedures that should be followed when using them.