The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes the B56.6, which covers the use of forklifts. Throughout this ANSI standard it discusses the requirements for man baskets or work platforms that attach to the forklifts. ANSI covers the design requirements, training requirements for occupants and operators and machine requirements.
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ANSI requires that both the occupants of the forklift man basket and the operator of the forklift be properly trained in the use of the work platform. The occupants must be trained in the safety procedures when working in a man basket, such as when they are required to use lanyards and safety belts as well as when they are required to wear hard hats. The forklift operator must be trained in the inspection procedures of the man basket, safely operating the work platform when personnel are inside the work platform and how to properly attach a man basket.
There are two types of man baskets made for a forklift. One work platform slides onto the forks of the industrial truck and locks into place while the second type requires the operator to remove the forks and attach the man basket to the industrial truck in the same manner as the forks. Both types of man baskets must lock into place so neither one slides when operating the forklift.
The ANSI requirements for a forklift man basket also cover the safety requirements of the work platform as well as the safety design. A man basket can only be used when no other practical work options are available to reach the working area, such as a ladder or scaffolding. Occupants of the man basket must have safety belt attachment points and can not use anything else inside the work platform to reach higher than the work platform can reach. This means that an occupant can not use a step ladder inside the work platform to reach higher than the work platform can be raised. The operator can not move the work platform when workers are inside the man basket except to raise and lower the work platform into position. A fire extinguisher must be located inside the man basket along with a first aid kit.
ANSI has several design requirements that forklift operators must meet before operating the forklift man basket. The work platform must have two boards, handrails, a gate to access the man basket that should be locked into place, load capacity requirements and locking mechanisms. The design requirements for the work platform are primarily for the safe of the occupants working off the man basket.
The ANSI design requirements differ from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in some aspects, such as the width of the work platform. ANSI requires that the man basket not extend more than 10 inches past either side of the forklift, but there are platforms wider than this ANSI requirement that still meet the OSHA regulations.
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