Legal Requirements

Hi Pierre,


We have 3 man cages (2 with wire fencing and 1 diamond mesh). See attached pictures.


My question was if these cages needs to be fitted with an switch electrically connecting the cage to the forklift to prevent unexpected starting of the engine. (See attached document OHS Directive 016 page 5 point 6)

Would there be any minimum thickness required to the chain that attached the cage to the forklift?


Also please advise the correct procedure to have our cages inspected certified and registered with the Labour Department.


1.    The new directive from the Department of Labour is OHS Directive 015. See attached.


2.    OHS Directive 015 has the same reference to an electrical switch connecting the cage to the forklift. However, the operative words for this requirement is found at the beginning of the sentence :  Where reasonably practicable.

3.    Par 3.2 specifically states that : “the user may occasionally, due to lack of other suitable means or under unusual circumstances want to use for the moving or supporting of persons in suspension in a specially designed cradle”. It is therefore Culmen’s opinion that it is not reasonably practicable to have a electrical switch for a cage that will be used occasionally.


NOTE    :    If the cage is not used under these conditions, it is strongly recommended that the correct equipment be installed, e.g. Hi Lift Order Picker or Mobile Elevating Work Platform


4.    The purpose of the chain is to prevent the lateral/horizontal displacement of the cage from the forks or lift truck. There is thus the minimal tensile force and Culmen recommend that 7 mm Grade 8 chain with relevant fittings be used. (7mm Gr 8 chain has a Safe Working Load of 1,6 ton)


5.    Paragraph 4.2 & 4.3 as well as Proforma B set out the requirements for the user when applying to the Department of Labour.


6.    In the case of an existing cage, it is the user’s responsibility to :


•    confirm the cage complies to the requirements of Proforma B
•    confirm a dimensioned engineering drawing exists complying to 4.2
•    have the design approved in compliance to 4.3.1
•    have the cage inspected and tested by a Lifting Machinery Inspector


The user should then apply to their local Department of Labour for the granting of permission to use the cage.


NOTE    :    It is very important to note that the permission to use a cage is granted to a specific user at a specific location. This permission can not be transferred to any other location whether for the same company or not.


NOTE    :    A SANS Standard, titled Non-integrated work platforms for occasional use on lift trucks is currently being drafted which will specify all the requirements including design, manufacture, safe use, inspection and maintenance. It is expected to by published by June 2015.