A forklift safety cage is a non-integrated work platform that attaches to a forklift truck to lift people and materials to greater heights than they would normally be able to go. The person that is in the cage has no control of the platform. All operations dealing with the cage and forklift are controlled by the forklift truck operator.
It is different from an integrated attachment for a lift truck which allows the person in the basket to have control over all the operations of the equipment.
Non-integrated platforms are much more common than integrated attachments.
When Is a Safety Cage Not the Right Tool for the Job?
Any routine or task that is associated with periodic maintenance production or stocktaking are occasions when you shouldn’t use a forklift cage. This type of work platform doesn’t provide as many safety features as other equipment, so they should only be used once in a while.
Forklift Buyer’s Guide
What to Consider before Purchasing a Forklift Safety Cage
When purchasing a forklift safety cage, there are a few considerations you need to keep in mind.
The Overall Weight of the Basket
Typically, a safety cage can easily and safely accommodate two average sized people as well as the materials the two people may need. You will then consider the working load limit of the safety cage and combine this with the weight of the individuals to determine if it is safe.
Number of Workers
That last point means we need to take a closer look at the number of workers the safety cage can really accommodate. Depending on the tasks that need to be completed and how many people it will take to complete these tasks, you will have to determine just how many people actually need to be there.
Are you using the forklift just to change out a few light bulbs? In this case, you will only really require the one worker to utilize the safety cage.
The Length of the Forks
Next, you will consider the overall length of the forks. The slots for the forks are located underneath the basket. When attaching the cage, you will want to make sure that the cage can actually contain the entire length of the forks. To do this, you will want to measure the length of the forks on the truck you want to attach the basket to. You also need to keep in mind the various controls of the forklift as well, especially the title and sideshift controls.
If a worker is in the raised forklift safety cage, then they will need to be outfitted with a body harness as an additional safety precaution. A full and fitted body harness should be certified and have the serial number located on the harness.
The harness will help with the impact if a fall were to occur from the safety cage and the harness is attached to an anchor point by one of several methods: a rope, lanyard, ladder sleeves, rope grabs, or retracting lifelines.
Finally, where will the forklift and safety cage be used? If the forklift has two safety sleeves that are full length, then the safety cage for this forklift will also have internal handrails to help prevent fingers and hands from becoming crushed or stuck.
If the forklift and safety cage will be primarily used outdoors, then you will want to opt for a stainless-steel variety that is made to withstand these extreme weather conditions. The floor of these are also checkered as to turn down any water so it does not pool, and the workers do not slip.
A Few Top Brands of Safety Cages/Man Baskets
1. Beacon Forklift Platform - Side Single Door Entry - BWP Series
This particular model has a moveable platform that was made for rapidly transporting employees. This model also includes either a side single entryway passage or a side double entryway section. The unit attaches to a forklift by the addition of the forks into the fork pockets and binding the load to the forklift.
The tine secure necessities arrange for the load to be secured to the forks. This forklift basket with spring has a 42-inch high handrail with a 21-inch high midrail found on three sides.
The fourth side of the basket highlights a 60-inch high extended metal support and is also accessible at an 84-inches in order to meet and align with California OSHA guidelines.
You should always be sure to check OSHA guidelines for your particular area. This model also comes equipped with a checker floor plate load and a 36-inch long chain with a snare which enables the load to be connected securely to the forklift.
2. Titan Attachments Forklift Safety Cage Work Platform
This safety cage is for use with any bed loader or standard forklift.
The bed fork sleeves on the base of the load run the entire length of the pen and there are pins that are able to secure it for improved security and steadiness.
The twofold chain entryway allows for a more secure load and can also help avoid any falls. With enough space for one individual, this load is ideal for most airborne employments such as painting, changing lights, or even rooftop repair. It is also ideal for inside and outside utilization.
Safety: The floor has a nonslip design, and the rails will help avert falls, four toe plates; it also locks into place
Strong: Heavy steel construction
Helpful: Because of the double chains, it’s easier to get in and out of it
Simple to gather and work: No apparatuses required; no problems mounting to forklift
Limit: Can hold up to 749 pounds
3. Vestil Side Dual-Door Entry Work Platform
The Vestil Side Dual-Door Entry Work Platform is an advantageous forklift platform that rapidly and securely transports and supports operators. This model is available in a variety of different sizes and abilities to coordinate and fulfill all your needs.
4. Ballymore/Garlin Forklift Personnel Platforms
This safety cage is from Ballymore/Garlin Enterprises and is considered a personal forklift platform.
5. Altam Forklift Safety Cage
This safety cage meets all OSHA prerequisites and comes equipped with a full security bridle and cord. This type of safety cage is frequently utilized by distribution centers for maintenance projects or gathering things from stockroom racking or high shelving when weight and height are factors. This safety cage will effectively shield and protect employees from falling while being lifted.
In accordance with OSHA Standards, this standard forklift safety cage includes a jewel tread plate floor, 42-inch high tubular sides, internal swing side locking entryway, 84-inch high work encased sponsorship, 4-inch high kick plate, and four cord tackle snare ups.
Full-length 3" x 6" fork pockets provide additional benefits and quality for the safety cage. The presences of a dependable chain will also safely and effectively secure the safety cage to the forklift.
It has been engineered with heavy duty constructional carbon steel to ensure years of reliable service.
Safety Reminders for Forklift Operators and Passengers
OSHA Approved Guidelines for the Use of a Safety Cage on a Forklift
Employees in a company use forklifts to effectively and efficiently move product and tackle repairs that are needed high up. To keep employees safe, OSHA has designed rules that employees and owners must follow closely when they are being lifted with a safety cage.
Joining the Safety Cage
There are two self-locking pins that securely join the safety cage to the forks. These pins will bolt the safety cage firmly into the right spot behind the foot sole areas of the forks.
To check the load for your forklift, utilize the vehicle's manual to confirm the stacking limit. Continuously try to incorporate the heaviness of the safety cage with how heavy the personnel and the materials they need with them are. Make sure to take into consideration all these weights combined, rather than separately.
Securely Securing the Platform
The safety cage should always be connected safely and securely to the forklift. This is important to guarantee that the forklift truck can handle the total weight it is being exposed to. The forks of the forklift also should not be able to move at all after the safety cage has been attached to the forklift.
All employees should have safety gear on if they are going to be in a safety cage. The harness is used so if there is a fall; it will aid the employee in not being harmed. So even though they are securely in place inside the cage, it is still vital to add this extra layer of protection.
Following all the rules and security principles for forklift utilization guarantees a more secure and safe workplace. Forklift safety cages can help prevent and avoid many workplace accidents and injuries. They can even help avoid death due to a workplace accident.
You should always review OSHA guidelines for your area before purchasing any type of forklift safety cage, however. It is also advisable to look at all customer reviews and other relevant information pertaining to the forklift cage to ensure that you are purchasing a high-quality and dependable safety cage for your business.
It is also important for you to research the brand name of any safety cage you are interested in or contact other companies who own one, to better educate yourself and make comparisons to find the best and the safest option possible.