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Get Prepared to Comply with New Aerial Lift Standards​

Thursday, January 24, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: AEMP
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New ANSI A92 industry standards were published in December 2018 and go into effect December 2019. The suite of three standards address the design, safe-user and training requirements for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) also known as aerial work lifts (AWPs).  These standards will impact every industry stakeholder, but none more than users of this equipment.

The new standards should be embraced by all industry stakeholders and offer the most significant changes since the standards were first published. The standards provide a comprehensive and systemic approach to promote the safe and effective use of the equipment. 

The design standard defines the structural design calculations and stability criteria, construction, safety examinations and tests that shall be applied before a MEWP is first put into service. The safe-use standard specifies requirements for application, inspection, training, maintenance, repair and safe operation of MEWPs and the training standard provides methods and guidelines to prepare MEWP training materials, defines administrative criteria, and delivers elements required for proper training and familiarization. 

While only MEWP manufacturers will read the design standard, it will have an impact on MEWP users. MEWPs designs allow equipment to fit into smaller spaces, reach higher, extend longer, travel over all types of terrain, and offer solutions that were impossible when first introduced into the market.

One of the new requirements in the design standard is a requirement for platform load sensing on most MEWPs. This system will identify when the platform rated load is exceeded, sound an alarm and prevent normal movement. This will assist in preventing overloading and minimize the risk of overturning and machine damage.  The design standard introduces many new requirements that will enhance MEWP safe operations.

MEWPs manufactured on or after the effective date (December 2019) shall comply with the requirements of the A92.20 Design Standard.  MEWPs manufactured to the existing standards do not require changes to meet the new standard. The existing standard remains in effect through December 2019, but a manufacturer may design and manufacture to the new standard prior to the effective date.

With all of the tremendous advancements in design, a MEWP can only be used safely if the correct machine is selected for the task, it is properly maintained, is operated by qualified persons and is overseen by qualified users to ensure all safe-use requirements are followed.    

The safe use standard introduces new requirements for a user of MEWPs to better ensure a trained MEWP operator and occupant’s safety.  Site risk assessments, proper selection of the MEWP for the task, site access, preparation and maintenance to support MEWP operations, more specific requirements for safe operation are defined, and a rescue plan is required.

The training standard provides methods and guidelines to prepare MEWP training materials, defines administrative criteria, and elements required for proper training and familiarization. The   requirements for compliant training are clearly defined to include training content for both the theory and practical, trainer qualifications, training environment, testing and documentation. 

NEW is the requirement for MEWP supervisor training and providing occupant knowledge. A supervisor is any person assigned by the user to monitor operator performance and supervise their work. This basically involves the knowledge of the rules, regulations and standards that apply to MEWPs and implementing them on MEWP projects. This training will be available in online or instructor led options.

The user is now responsible to ensure that the MEWP operator provides instruction or otherwise ensure all occupants have a basic level of knowledge to work safely on the MEWP. This is not training as no testing is required, rather the providing awareness of the topics and issues that every occupant must have. These topics are defined in the training standard. 

To become compliant with the new standards, training programs must be updated to address the new safe-use and training requirements. Instructors must become qualified to deliver the new training requirements. Operators and supervisors must be trained to be compliant with the new standards by the effective date (December 2019). Occupants must be provided required knowledge on and after the effective date. 

Users of MEWPs must ensure that all of their workers be compliant with the new A92.22 safe use and A92.24 training standards on the effective date (December 2019). Safe use and training apply to all MEWPs in operation regardless of when they were manufactured. 

The first step for compliance with the new standards is awareness of your responsibilities.  

On March 20, 2:45-4:15pm you are invited to an AEMP educational session “Understanding the Impact and YOUR Responsibilities - NEW ANSI A92 Mobile Elevating Work Platform Standards”. A panel of 5 industry experts will provide a summary of changes and spend the majority of the session answering YOUR questions.  Please let us know if you plan on attending this session and submit any questions on the topic to tony.groat@ipaf.org.  Questions will be accepted at the session as well. 


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