NEW ANSI Aerial Lift/MEWP Standard Changes

Aerial personnel lifts are widely used in nearly all industries.  No matter if you are in construction, manufacturing, municipal, or other industrial business sectors, aerial lifts have gained wide favor over ladders and scaffolds for a large number of tasks.  They are generally safer and faster than other forms of access to elevated work areas.

OSHA has a few rules governing the use of this equipment, but they lack the ability to update their standards frequently enough to keep pace with emerging technology and equipment types.  OSHA has the ability to enforce other national consensus standards that are better tuned-in to current needs of the industry. 

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has published new rules governing the design, use, and training of users this year.  In this article, we will examine part of the training changes.

First, we should look at terminology so that we are all talking about the same thing.  This is one area where terminology can be a bit confusing.  In the OSHA 1926 and 1910 standards, scissors lifts are considered to be mobile scaffolds and are not included in the term aerial lift.  OSHA used the term aerial lift to refer specifically to boom and articulating boom style equipment.  This is confusing because many users think of aerial lifts as being widely applied to scissors and boom type equipment.  ANSI previously has followed this more wide basis as well.

In this revision of the ANSI A92 standards, they are transitioning to Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) as the preferred lingo. MEWPs are now grouped into categories — more on that later.

ANSI published a new standard -ANSI A92.24: Training Requirements for Operators of MEWPs – designed to consolidate all the training requirements from various types of equipment into one standard. These new requirements will become effective in December of this year.

The new standards place greater responsibility on the equipment user/owner regardless of whether they are a large maintenance operation or a small business that rents a scissor lift, boom lift, etc. for seasonal work. Employers, owners and operators must be in compliance by December 10, 2019

Training has some new requirements under this standard: First, training is required for each class of MEWP classification. This means that operators must be provided specific instructions to occupants so they can work safely in an MEWP, including how to use fall protection and the location of fall protection anchors and teaching them how their actions can affect stability.

Occupant instruction must also include how to safely use MEWP accessories, how to adhere to the safety plan and avoid site-specific hazards and how to complete emergency procedures in line with the manufacturers’ warning and safety information.

New training is also required of Supervisors. The standard now requires supervisors of MEWP operators shall receive supervisor training. This shall include:

  1. proper MEWP selection,
  2. user and operator requirements,
  3. how to identify known hazards and the means to manage risk, and
  4. how to follow the requirements of the operator’s manual.

Can I do this training in house?  The short answer is “yes, but.”  You certainly can do it in house,  but be careful to ensure that you have met the requirements of the new rules so that you don’t waste your precious time and money.  Training should conform to both ANSI A92.24 and ANSI Z490.1 – Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training.

If training is done “in house,” users must comply with the administration of training standard to include:

  1. training content,
  2. trainer qualification,
  3. training environment,
  4. testing, and
  5. documentation.

Riskill has developed new Aerial Lift training that fulfills the requirements of the new ANSI rules.  We can help with both new user training, the newly required supervisor training, or refresher/update training.  Use the contact us form to get more information. We can also assist you in updating your written work safety procedures to accommodate these new changes.

As with all new standards, companies need to do their homework and familiarize themselves with the requirements contained within the standards and begin appropriate measures to ensure they are compliant prior to the end of the grace period given.

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