New ANSI Standards for Aerial Lifts. Are you ready?
The ANSI (American National Standards Institute) has implemented extensive changes to Standard A92. Once final, all aerial equipment brands and manufacturers serving the North American market and users of the equipment will have one year to comply. Here we will touch on the new standards for the safe use (A92.22) and training (A92.24) as it relates to aerial lift equipment. These changes go into effect March 2019.
Changes to Terminology
The aerial work platform industry will be adopting new equipment terminology. AWP’s will now become known as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms or MEWPs. The word “mobile” is key to the new title because it means that the equipment can be driven either under its own power or manually. The equipment is not stationary. The MEWPs now have two groups of machines and 3 types. The groups (A & B) refer to where the platform is located, and the 3 types refers to the equipment’s ability to travel.
Equipment Design Standards
In addition to the terminology, the standards include some significant changes to the equipment itself (A92.20) which includes: Platform Load Sense System, Dynamic Terrain Sensing, Indoor–only Machines, Toe guards on work platform entrances, Prohibited use of chain gates and flexible gates, reduced lift and lower speeds on some models.
Read more about the new categories and design standards in this Genie article Recap of the Pending ANSI/CSA Standards - Everything is changing.
Standards for Safe Use A92.22 and Training A92.24
These changes definitely place more responsibility on the user (usually the employer). So let’s take a look at the new standards for the safe use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms and training requirements for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) as explained at Lift and Access.
Safe Use, Risk Assessment, and Rescue Planning - The user must develop a Safe Use Program specific to MEWPS which must include, but not be limited to:
- Performing a site risk assessment
- Selection, provision, and use of a suitable MEWP and associated equipment
- An assessment that the supporting surface can support the weight of the MEWP
- MEWP maintenance including inspections and repairs as required
- Inform the operator of local site requirements and warn and provide the means to protect against identified hazards
- Have a trained and qualified supervisor to monitor the performance or the work of the operator
- Prevention of unauthorized use of the MEWP
- Safety of persons not involved in the operation of the MEWP
Risk Assessment - The risks associated with the task specific to MEWP operations shall be identified. These might be related to the location where the work is to be carried out, the nature of the MEWP or the personnel, materials, and equipment to be carried.
- Identify control measures
- Identify safe work procedures
- Rescue from height
- Communicate the results
The lift users and operators must develop a written Rescue Plan that will be carried out in case of machine breakdown, platform entanglement, or fall from the platform. This written plan must be a part of the company's training manual. All lift operators must receive training on procedures to follow if they fall and await rescue or witness another worker's fall. This plan must limit the time that a properly restrained worker hangs suspended in the air. Rescue plans can include the following:
- Self-rescue – by the person involved
- Assisted rescue – by others in the work area
- Technical rescue – by emergency services
Training of Supervisors, Operators, and Occupants - To prepare for the standards changes, it is essential for users (most commonly the employer) to understand several significant changes. The supervisor must ensure that all MEWP operators are trained in the following areas:
- Proper selection of the correct MEWP for the work to be performed
- The rules, regulations, and standards that apply to MEWPs, including the provisions for safe use as defined in ANSI A92.22 Training and Familiarization, and the work being performed
- Potential hazards associated with use of MEWPs and the means to protect against identified hazards
- Knowledge that the manufacturer's operating manual(s) are an integral part of the equipment and need to be stored properly in the weather-resistant compartment on the MEWP
The MEWP operator must ensure that all occupants in the platform have a basic level of knowledge to work safely on the MEWP.
- The requirement to use fall protection and the location of fall protection anchors
- Factors including how their actions could affect stability
- Safe use of MEWP accessories they are assigned to use
- Site-specific work procedures the occupants must follow related to the operation of the MEWP
- Hazards related to the task at hand and their avoidance
- Manufacturer’s warnings and instructions
- At least one of the occupants must be provided with the knowledge to operate the controls in an emergency where the operator can't.
Maintenance and Repair Personnel Training - Users must ensure that maintenance and repair personnel are trained by a qualified person to inspect and maintain the MEWP in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, as well as ANSI and CSA standards. In the case where a MEWP is being rented, arrangements must be made by the owner to identify the entity that will be responsible for the inspections and maintenance activities described in the standard:
- Frequent Inspections — When the MEWP is put into service, has been out of service for three months or has been in service for three months or 150 hours whichever comes first.
- Annual Inspections — performed no later than 13 months after the previous Annual Inspection
In this article, we have provided a fundamental review of the ANSI standard A92 changes. One thing for sure, they will have a far-reaching effect on the industry. From top to bottom—from manufacturer to end user—the changes will impact all. At Action Lift, our training programs comply with the new ANSI standards. Contact Chris Smith to set up a program that meets your safety goals.