OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 6 Cranes, Hoists and Lifting Devices

Section 75.1 Suspended personnel baskets

Section 75.1(1)

Because its failure can have catastrophic consequences, a suspended personnel basket that has not been commercially manufactured must be designed and certified by a professional engineer as safe for use. Readers are referred to section 88.1 of this Explanation Guide for technical design requirements applicable to personnel baskets used with a mobile crane.

Figure 6.15.1 shows a commercially manufactured suspended personnel basket. This type of personnel basket may be manually operated or power driven, is generally suspended from a thrustout, and is equipped with a separate vertical lifeline i.e. life safety rope. Figure 6.15.2 shows a typical personnel basket designed and certified by a professional engineer. It is generally suspended from a crane and is not equipped with a separate vertical lifeline i.e. life safety rope, for each worker in the basket. This type of personnel basket requires a separate safety line as described below.

Figure 6.15.1 Example of a commercially manufactured suspended personnel basket

Figure 6.15.2 Example of a suspended personnel basket designed and certified by a professional engineer

Commentary about “commercially manufactured”

In general, a commercially manufactured product has the following qualities

(a) it is designed and built to some standard or generally accepted engineering principles that make it safe for use;

(b) it is designed and built by person(s) with the skill or competence to be able to make the product safe;

(c) it is produced with the intention of being generally available to anyone who wants to buy it – normally there is an exchange of money;

(d) it is normally supported by the manufacturer with a warranty, guarantee, and product support; and

(e) liability and safety issues related to its use have been addressed by the manufacturer.

It is implied by the OHS Code, that a product that is “commercially manufactured” is “safe” because it has been produced by a “manufacturer” that has the skills and competencies to do so.

Criterion (a) refers to the product being designed and built to some “generally accepted engineering principles”. It is expected that a “manufacturer” is able to provide drawings or sketches of the product that include an assessment of the product’s strength, load-bearing capacity, etc. Further, criterion (d) mentions “product support”. This may include, among other elements, the availability of written manufacturer specifications.

Section 75.1(2)

Under normal circumstances, a worker working from a suspended personnel basket is protected from falling by using a personal fall arrest system such as a vertical lifeline (life safety rope)/rope grab combination or a self-retracting lifeline. The lifeline is often secured to an anchor point on the boom of the crane from which the personnel basket is suspended. In the event that it is impracticable to provide a personal fall arrest system for one or more workers in the personnel basket,

(a) a separate personnel basket support must be attached between the suspended personnel basket and the hoisting line above the hook assembly, and

(b) each worker within the personnel basket must wear a full body harness with lanyard securely attached to fall protection anchorage points located in or on the personnel basket.

The separate or secondary personnel basket support, in combination with the worker being attached to the personnel basket, functions as a fall arrest system. To limit fall distance and the arresting force experienced by workers inside the basket, the secondary personnel basket support must be kept as short as possible.