Review and analysis of pending new standards for Safe Use, Operation, Inspection, Testing, Maintenance, Design and Personnel Training of Aerial Lifts or Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP)
Major revisions of Safe Use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms Standard (A92.22) and of Standard A92.24 - Training Requirements for the Use, Operation, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance are going into effect in early 2018. Standard A92.20, governing the design of mobile elevating work platforms is expected to follow.
The changes come from ANSI (United States) and CSA (Canada) governing bodies and aim to further promote safe design and operation of Aerial Lifts in North America.
Aerial Lifts have been officially referred as Aerial Work Platforms (AWP). Now Aerial Lifts are going to be called Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, (MEWP's).
Once the new standards go in effect, manufacturers and brands will have 1 year to assent. These changes will affect the following:
All MEWP's will be required to have on-board Load Sensing System to continuously monitor the weight in the platform and disable certain functions when load limit is reached.
All boom lifts will have to be equipped with Dynamic Terrain Sensing to automatically disable certain functions when out of their slope limit.
Introduction of "Indoor Only" designation would allow for development of lighter-weight and more compact MEWPs. These MEWPs cannot be used in conditions where they might be subjected to any wind.
The user must develop a Safe Use Program specific to MEWPs which must include, but not be limited to:
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 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:
The MEWP operator must ensure that all occupants in the platform have a basic level of knowledge to work safely on the MEWP.
The supervisor must ensure that all MEWP operators are trained in the following areas:
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:
These changes will have an industry-wide effect from top to bottom, from manufacturer to end user. And with change comes the opportunity and responsibility to adapt and improve. Disregard of, or ambivalence to these changes will most certainly put one behind others who are more proactive. And in doing so, compromising safety as well as efficiency.
This post presents a brief overview of the upcoming changes that the entire industry will be facing. We will be happy to assist you in understanding the new requirements and help you to navigate through the changes.