This week’s toolbox talk focuses on an important piece of equipment, “Man-Cages.” that ensures our safety when working at heights.

Legislation Definition of a man-cage as per Driven Machinery Regulation 18:

“Man-Cage” means a platform enclosed on all side, whether closed or open at the top, designed for the purpose of raising and lower persons by means of a lifting machine, but does not include mobile elevated work platforms and suspended access platforms.

DMR Regulation 18(8) states:

No user shall require or permit any person to be moved or supported by means of a lifting machine unless that machine is fitted with a man-cage designed and manufactured according to an approved SANS standard approved for that purpose by an inspector and after a risk assessment has been done.

IMPORTANT NOTES when using a man cage as stipulated in the legislation above:

  • The man cage must be designed and manufactured to an approved SANS standard.
  • The man cage must be approved by an inspector of the DOL for the purpose it will be used for. 
  • Ensure that cage has been approved by the Inspector from DOL for a specific site where the cage will be used to lift a person.
  • A risk assessment must be done every time before it is used, by a responsible, competent person.

Persons occupying the man cage should:

  • Remain on the floor and shall not use other means inside the platform to achieve a higher position, for example, stand on the guardrails of the man-cage.
  • All persons inside the man-cage shall be secured to the cage by means of personal protective equipment applicable to working at heights, including but not limited to, a full body harness.

General notes:

  • A data plate should be on the man-cage which must correspond with the relevant documents indicating the name and address of supplier, year of manufacture, type of cage, identification number, tare weight and rated capacity as well as the number of people that it is permitted to carry.
  • All persons who will be working inside the man-cage should be properly trained and given full instructions on safe systems of working with work platforms, on the fall protection plan, rescue procedures, risk assessment, working at heights training and safe work procedures.
  • The work area below the work at height / where man-cage are being used shall be seperated from other work activities. Persons must be prevented from approaching the area where the man-cage are being used. This may be achieved by the use of warning cones, barriers and signs.

Download the full Toolbox Talk document on the Man-Cages Inspection below: