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Personnel baskets are sturdy lifting containers which are designed to hold one or more persons as they are lifted to a work site. You may have seen a personnel basket in use by the phone or electric company, where they are frequently used to access various lines and utility poles which may need repair, but these tools have many more uses as well. Several manufacturers around the world specialize in the production and sale of personnel baskets, both directly to firms which use them and to companies which integrate them into their equipment.
A typical personnel basket can look rather like a basket, although it is obviously made from much sturdier materials. Many nations have specific laws which are designed to standardize personnel baskets, making them safer and easier to use. If you happen to be in the market for a personnel lifting basket, you may want to check about local authorities to find out about prevailing laws, thereby ensuring that you purchase a basket which is up to code.
The sides of a personnel basket are often made from lattice or mesh, although solid sides are not unheard of, and the floor is generally solid and textured to provide plenty of traction for workers. By law in most regions, the rail on a personnel basket must be high, to prevent people from falling out, and there must be a bar which people can clip onto with a safety harness. The bar or gate which is moved to enter the basket should also be fully lockable, and there should be a closable tool basket for people to put tools and equipment into while they are lifted into place.
Personnel baskets usually have small information plaques detailing the equipment they are designed to work with, such as cranes, winches, or lifts, and these plaques also indicate the weight load and recommended occupancy. It is important to pay attention to these recommendations, for obvious safety reasons, and it is also a good idea to balance loads in a personnel basket carefully to ensure that people and objects do not slide or become unbalanced as they are lifted.
Working in a personnel basket can be intimidating, and a bit intense, as these workplace tools are designed to lift people to great heights in a wide variety of conditions. Workers typically receive specialized training which allows them to feel comfortable in high spaces, and they receive further training about personnel baskets so that they can work in them safely. It is also generally a good idea to inspect equipment such as personnel baskets on a regular basis to ensure that it is in good working condition.
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