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Caged Manlifts and Personnel Elevators



Every Monday by
Grain Journal
Editor Kendall Trump

Caged manlifts, also referred to as personnel elevators, are found commonly in grain elevators, feed mills and flour mills, as well as food processing and ethanol facilities.  

Caged manlifts are generally safe, as long as they are properly maintained and used correctly.   

To ensure your safety and the safety of your coworkers, follow these best practices when using caged manlifts:

• Ensure that limit switches on the car’s door are operational. Do not bypass or disengage limit switches or other safety devices. 

• Ensure that limit switches on the outer door of the manlift are operational. Do not bypass or disengage interlocks on the outer doors located at the bottom, intermediate, and top floors.
• Ride with the car door closed.  

• Never exceed the rated capacity posted on the inside of the car. Your body weight and the weight of any tools or equipment must not exceed the rated capacity.  

• Only allow trained and authorized persons to use the manlift.

• Make sure that the car is free of unnecessary tools and debris.

• Always have a means of communication, such as a functioning two-way radio.

• Carry a source of light, such as a flashlight or head lamp.

• Ensure that the manlift is included in the facility’s routine maintenance program. Manlifts should be inspected monthly to include cables, cable clamps, the governor cable, electrical trail cords, brakes, gear reducer oil, etc.

• Ensure that any repairs or modifications are made by a certified elevator technician.

• Make sure that you understand the emergency procedures for events such as power outages, breakdowns, etc. 

By: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Gates Mills, OH;; and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple Inc., Olathe, KS;

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