Importance of a test weight for a man basket

When a job requires you to work at extreme heights it is paramount that you find safe ways to perform this work.  This is where man baskets or personnel lift platforms ( come into play.  But how do you ensure the man basket you are using is safe?  Answer; with a test weight. To ensure the safety of your man basket OSHA requires you to do a trial lift.  This is where a test weight provided by the manufacturer of your man basket comes in handy. 

Test weight requirements:

  1. OSHA requires a test weight to be 125% of the working capacity of your man basket.  This means a man basket with a capacity of 1,000 LBS. must use a test weight weighing at least 1,250 LBS.
  2. Test weights must have all weight evenly distributed through the man basket.
  3. When performing the trial lift, simply attach your test weight and lift the man basket a few inches off the ground.  Hold in place for 5 minutes and watch for any instability or points of stress. 

What to watch for:

When performing the trial lift it is important to know what to look for.  Always have a dedicated, trained safety member inspect the man basket and rigging during the trial lift.  This person should be watching for cracks in the steel or welds, tears in the rigging, or imbalance of greater than 10%.  If any of these things are noted by the safety inspector do not use the man basket.  The inspector should keep a running log of all safety inspections. 


Lakeshore Industrial uses a quick pin attach test weight to save you time on the job site and make sure you are 100% compliant in your safety efforts.  While some sell test weights and man baskets as a packaged deal, we understand you may already have one from a previous order.  By adding the test weight as an option rather than a requirement we can save our customers money. View the white plate in the image below for an example.

For these reasons above it is always best to purchase a test weight built specifically for the man basket you purchase.  Some may choose to go other routes using heavy equipment or sandbags they have lying around.  However doing this makes it difficult to know exactly how much weight you are lifting and even more difficult to evenly distribute the load.