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Using forklift cages to improve safety when working at height

Forklift cages can transform the humble forklift into a stable, secure access platform. Forklifts are generally used only for lifting materials, but when the right accessories / attachments are added they can also lift people. This makes them very useful when access to high places is needed. There are many different types of forklift access platforms, suitable for different vehicle types and applications. Choosing the right equipment, and using it correctly, can prevent accidents at your site and enable your team to work safely at height.


Safety benefits of forklift cages

Forklift cages have proven safety benefits, and they are highly recommended for all height work. The access platforms minimise the risk of an accident by preventing falls, while allowing workers easy access for height work. They can empower workers to take on higher work tasks without fear, and they keep you from worrying about the safety of your staff. Using forklift cages can even save you money, by preventing costly accident litigation and limiting employee downtime caused by injuries. Don't take risks with worker safety: use a forklift cage when working at height.



Common uses for forklift cages

Forklift access platforms are not designed for long-term use; they are a temporary method of access often used for maintenance and repair work. Forklift cages are handy in industrial and agricultural applications, where an everyday forklift can quickly be converted to create specialised access equipment. From farm work to electrical maintenance and from warehouse picking to construction repairs, the uses for forklift access platforms are almost limitless.


Forklift cages and man baskets are designed to lift one or more people. They provide far more stability than a ladder or mobile platform, and they are surrounded by bars which reduce the chance of slips and falls. They can be attached quickly and easily to a standard forklift or telescopic handler truck, giving plenty of lift and support.


Types of forklift cage available


It is important to get the right type of cage or platform for your needs and to ensure that it suits your forklift's type. There are many different forklift cages on the market. Platforms are typically designed to accommodate a single person, but you can also opt for cages that can hold two or more people at a time. Always make sure you are lifting a load within the truck's safe working load capacity and the platform’s capacity. Safe working load capacities are indicated on the serial plates attached to the equipment.

Platforms can include side gates and lifting bars to facilitate access.  Many access platforms are designed to be controlled from the forklift's master controls, but you could also opt for a forklift man cage with integrated controls, giving operatives full access over the platform while it is in use. This is a great safety measure, allowing those on the platform to override the forklift's controls and safely navigate themselves down from the platform.


Using the forklift cage safely

Safety is the key reason you should consider buying a forklift cage. As long as the cage is correctly attached and the truck is properly weighted, workers can quickly and easily access a range of heights and complete work safely. Thanks to the safety bars, anchor points for safety lanyard and grab handles, using a forklift cage is sure to reduce on-site accidents.


Regulation 7(2)(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 puts strict requirements on business owners to ensure that access platforms are used safely. Forklifts are often used inappropriately by workers when carrying out short-term jobs like repairs. However, an access platform can make a forklift much safer, and it is accepted under the Work at Height regulations that these forklift cages might occasionally be used.


Selecting a forklift cage

When a ladder won't do but expensive and time-consuming scaffolding erection seems unnecessary, a man basket on a forklift truck could be the answer to prevent workers using unsafe equipment to complete tasks. You can find high-quality forklift cages on our website right now - order online for fast delivery to any UK yard or site.


Click here for detailed HSE guidance (Working platforms (non-integrated) on forklift trucks)



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