The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) creates safety and usage standards for most industries. Recently, ANSI released ANSI A92.22 Safe Use and A92.24 Training Standards, which may have a significant impact on your business.
Are ANSI A92 Standards in Effect?
The American National Standards Institute Board of Standards Review approved ANSI A92 on May 7, 2020. Following the board’s approval, ANSI A92 took effect June 1.
As of June 1, aerial lift operators and their supervisors must receive training, according to ANSI A92. Additionally, ANSI A92 stipulates that safe-use plans must be in place for those who operate lifts.
ANSI A92 is voluntary, but employers who understand it can protect themselves and their aerial lift operators. Because, if an employer educates its staff about ANSI A92, it can ensure that its lift operators can follow industry best practices and minimize the risk of worksite accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
What Does ANSI A92 Mean For Your Business?
ANSI is a private, nonprofit organization that develops standards and assessment systems. Your business may not be required to follow ANSI A92 or other ANSI mandates, but doing so can be beneficial both now and in the future.
By staying up to date on ANSI requirements, your business can uncover innovative ways to bolster workplace safety. Even a single on-the-job accident or injury can put your workers, your brand reputation, and your revenues in danger. But, if your company follows ANSI requirements, it can explore ways to go above and beyond the call of duty to prioritize safety. As a result, your business may be able to further minimize the risk of workplace accidents and injuries.
Also, ANSI A92 and other ANSI requirements can help your business stand out from its rivals. If your company stipulates that its employees must complete workplace safety training to learn about these mandates, it can help workers safely perform their jobs. Plus, this training shows workers that your business cares about their safety and wellbeing — something that could help your company stand out to top talent.
A Closer Look at the New Aerial Lift Standards
ANSI A92 covers the design of new aerial lift equipment and aerial lift training requirements and applies to:
– Aerial lift owners
– Companies that make aerial lifts
– Aerial lift dealers
– Lift workers
– Lift managers and supervisors
ANSI Aerial Lift Standards: New Classifications
According to ANSI A92, aerial lifts are now referred to as mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).
MEWPs are classified into two groups: Group A and Group B. In Group A, the center of the work platform does not extend beyond the edge of the chassis at any time. And in Group B, the center of the work platform can extend beyond the chassis.
ANSI A92 also defines three types of MEWPS within each group:
– MEWPs that can travel only in the stowed position and must be moved manually
– MEWPs that are controlled from the chassis and can be driven while the platform is in the air
– MEWPs that have controls on the work platform and can be driven while the platform is in the air
To better understand the different types of MEWPs, let’s look at a few examples:
1. Toyota JLG 12SP
This push-around stock picker is a Group A, Type 1 MEWP. The platform never extends beyond the chassis, and the lift can only be moved with the platform retracted.
2. Toyota AICHI Scissor Lift SV2632E
This Group A, Type 3 MEWP falls under the new ANSI Scissor Lift Standards. The platform never extends beyond the equipment tipping line, and travel can be controlled from the platform.
3. Toyota M450AJ Articulating Boom Lift
The platform in this Group B, Type 3 MEWP extends beyond the wheel. The lift can be moved while the platform is in the air as well.
What Are MEWP Occupants?
An MEWP occupant refers to any passenger in a lift. The occupant, like the MEWP operator, must receive adequate aerial lift safety training.
By completing aerial lift safety training, MEWP occupants can help prevent lift accidents. Following aerial lift safety training, workers will understand lift controls, safety and rescue plans, and other relevant aerial lift safety information. They can then safely operate a lift, as well as do their part to help other lift operators avoid accidents.
New ANSI Standards for Aerial Lifts: Equipment Changes
ANSI A92 requires new aerial lifts to be equipped with two types of sensors: one that sounds an alarm and prevents the machine from operating when the load exceeds safety limits, and another that triggers an alarm when the slope level gets too steep and prevents movement of the chassis or work platform.
Other equipment changes that fall under the parameters of ANSI A92 include:
– MEWPs can no longer use chains to close off an entrance to the work platform. Instead, they must use gates that include toe guards.
– MEWPs used for outdoor work must have wind speed sensors. This allows workers to monitor the wind speed at a jobsite; if the wind speed approaches or exceeds a safe level, workers can take a break and resume their work when it is once again safe to do so.
– MEWP platform railings must be at a height of 43.5 in. or greater; previously, the minimum height for platform railings was 39 in.
– MEWPs used on rough terrain must be fitted with solid or foam-filled tires. This helps increase stability.
New ANSI Aerial Lift Standards: Safety Plans
Any business that uses MEWPs must have a written safe use plan that includes:
– A detailed site risk assessment
– Rescue plans that workers have reviewed and understand
– Having a trained supervisor monitor worker compliance with the new standards
– Steps for preventing unauthorized MEWP use
– Steps for protecting the safety of workers who are not operating MEWPs
Site Risk Assessment Best Practices
Employers are required to provide worksites that are free of hazards. With a site risk assessment, an employer can identify and address any hazards that can cause death or serious physical harm to workers.
During a site risk assessment, an employer must:
– Identify workplace hazards.
– Evaluate the risks associated with workplace hazards; this requires an employer to consider who the hazards affect and how they can impact these stakeholders.
– Establish measures to mitigate workplace hazards; this requires an employer to define, document, and implement control measures and monitor their effectiveness.
Along with a site risk assessment, an employer must review and update its strategies to control workplace hazards. This ensures that an employer can minimize risk for workers and avoid compliance penalties.
What Is a Rescue Plan for an MEWP?
A rescue plan is critical for MEWP operators, due to the fall dangers associated with using lifts to work at heights. The plan helps ensure that MEWP operators are protected in the event that they fall from a platform.
If an MEWP operator falls from a platform, the operator is suspended in midair. In this instance, the worker may pass out due to a lack of muscle movement in the legs that causes blood to pool in the lower part of the body. Or, if an MEWP operator is suspended in midair for too long, the results can be fatal.
A rescue plan provides steps that should be followed if an MEWP operator is suspended in midair. These steps include:
– An MEWP operator in midair should pump the legs frequently if self-rescue is impossible; this helps reduce the risk of blood pooling in the lower part of the body.
– Keep an eye on the operator for any signs of symptoms of blood pooling and suspension trauma.
– Once the operator is rescued, perform standard trauma resuscitation.
– If the operator is unconscious after being rescued, obtain first aid, and ensure that the operator’s airway passage remains open.
An MEWP operator should be evaluated by a medical professional following a midair rescue as well. This ensures that the operator can be fully assessed for kidney failure and other possible delayed effects from the incident.
New ANSI Scissor Lift Standards
To date, ANSI has not released new standards that apply exclusively to scissor lifts. Although different in structure and how they lift, scissor lifts are classified as MEWPs, and the new ANSI aerial lift standards regarding training, equipment, and safety apply the same to scissor lifts as other lifts.
New ANSI Aerial Lift Training Requirements
ANSI A92 sets new training standards, and personnel who supervise MEWP workers must be trained in these areas:
– Selecting the right MEWP for the work to be performed
– Knowing the safe MEWP operation rules and standards for the type of work being performed
Knowing the potential hazards related to the use of MEWPs
– Knowing how to protect against MEWP hazards
– Making sure the operating manual is stored in a protected place on the MEWP
Lift workers also have to provide basic training to others on the platform with them. Maintenance workers must be trained to repair and maintain MEWPs to factory and ANSI standards, too.
Other new training requirements include:
– A site-specific rescue plan must be used that details how to get workers down if the lift stops working while in the air.
– Before starting a job, workers must read the operator’s manual and know how to use a MEWP.
– Any workers on the platform must know how to get down from the lift.
– Every site must have at least one person on hand who can operate the equipment from the ground.
– Maintenance workers must be trained on MEWP features.
Understanding the training requirements for MEWPs is crucial, regardless of your business’ size or the size of your workforce. If your workers understand how to safely operate MEWPs, they can limit the risk of work platform accidents and injuries. Best of all, your workers will be well-equipped to correctly use MEWPs to complete everyday tasks on schedule and on budget.
Can Employers Offer Aerial Lift Safety Training During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected aerial lift operators globally. It has caused many businesses to temporarily shut down their operations, due to safety concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic has also led employers to implement social distancing guidelines, face mask requirements, and other safety measures to protect its employees against the coronavirus.
For employers that want to follow ANSI A92 during the pandemic, remote training opportunities are available. In fact, online programs make it easy for workers to learn about a wide range of aerial lift safety topics. These programs can be offered to workers at any time, and they are accessible on a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. As such, an employer can sign up its workers for an online program and ensure these workers can receive proper aerial lift safety training, even in the midst of the pandemic.
The Bottom Line on the New ANSI Standards for an Aerial Lift
Although it may seem difficult to comply with ANSI A92, doing so can be simple.
ANSI A92 can have far-flung effects on your business, and educating workers about it is paramount. If your company uses safety training courses to educate its workforce about ANSI A92, it can teach its employees how to safely operate and maintain MEWPs. That way, workers can learn how to use MEWPs safely and efficiently.
Sign Up for MEWP Safety Training Classes from CertifyMeOnline.net
ANSI standards are voluntary, but worker safety is always the top priority — that’s why MEWP training and certification is important.
CertifyMeOnline.net is the leading provider of fast, affordable online MEWP safety training classes. We can teach your workers how to safely operate cherry pickers, scissor lifts, and other MEWPs. To learn more or to sign up for our classes, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.