2019 ANSI standards explained

ANSI A92.22 AND A92.24 mechanical elevated work platform standards affect manufacturers, owners, supervisors, operators, occupants and maintenance personnel.

The new ANSI standards released on December 2018 affect all owners, operators and supervisors of aerial lifts including spider-style lifts, booms, scissor lifts and under-bridge inspection machines, reports Lenny Polinski of All Access Equipment. He outlines the important changes that affect all manufacturers and users of MEWPs.

The new standards are designed to enhance safety and shift North American equipment standards closer to the much higher international standards, such as Canada, Australia and Europe.

“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, spider lift or any kind of lift. Employers, owners and operators must be in compliance by December 10, 2019."

What you need to know
The new standards update and replace ANSI standards A92.3, A92.5, A92.6 and A92.8. The new ANSI A92 standards affect training, job site safety and equipment design. It reclassifies equipment and creates a new class of user: occupants.

Aerial Work Platforms (AWPs) are now referred to as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs). Rather than being classified by the equipment type, machines are now broken up by groups, then sub-divided into Types.

If a MEWP moves vertically but within the tipping lines, such as a scissor lift, it is classified as Group A. If the MEWP can move beyond the tipping lines (outriggers or wheels) it is considered Group B. A boom lift is an example of equipment in Group B.

MEWPS are further classified into types. Type 1 equipment can only be driven with the platform in its stowed position while Type 2 equipment can be driven elevated but is controlled from the chassis. Type 3 equipment can be driven elevated and controlled from the work platform.

A92.22: Safe use
All MEWP users, including both full-time owners and companies who occasionally rent aerial equipment, must develop a risk assessment and site safety plan. The plan must be documented and shared with everyone on the work site.

An effective risk assessment and safety plan must be completed before work begins and should include:

  •  description of the job, location and time frame
  •  risks related to using the MEWP or other equipment, and any hazardous materials
  •  list of workers who have received training
  •  measures to prevent unauthorized use of a MEWP
  •  describe safe work procedures and safety measures
  •  explanation of why the chosen MEWP is best for the job
  •  outlines a rescue plan for workers in the event of a fall or if the MEWP breaks down

Rescue planning takes on added importance under the new standard. The rescue plan must include steps to be taken in the event of:

  •  safe emergency control use if the operator is stranded
  •  a fall
  •  platform entanglement
  •  machine failure

The plan must be written down, added to the company training manual, and shared with all workers on the job site. Anyone working in or around the MEWP must receive training on what to do if they see someone fall from a MEWP, or if they themselves fall.

The plan must set a time limit for how long a properly restrained worker can hang suspended in the air. Fire Departments require the ability of the ground person to be able to lower an operator in distress within 90 seconds.

The rescue plan can include options for self-rescue, assisted rescue, or technical rescue./emergency services.

ANSI Standard A92.24: Training
Standard documented training remains mandatory for aerial equipment operators, but the new standard now requires training for occupants and supervisors. An occupant is anyone in the MEWP platform who is not an operator and must receive training on fall protection systems and what to do if the operator can no longer operate the lift.

The operator is responsible for ensuring every occupant in the platform knows how to work safely on the MEWP. There must also be someone on the ground who can act as the operator and return elevated workers to the ground in the event of an unexpected malfunction or an emergency.

Aerial lift operators are still required to have documented training such as a certificate of completion or certification card. Under the new standard, operators are also responsible for familiarizing themselves with any MEWP they are not familiar with including:

  •  reading the operator manual
  •  doing a walk-around inspection
  •  familiarizing themselves with the controls
  •  understanding any limitations of the equipment

The new standard requires supervisor training. A supervisor is, defines as an entity assigned by the user to monitor operator performance and supervise their work. Someone who directly supervises one or more MEWP operators is considered a supervisor by ANSI, and anyone who fits this description is now required to have aerial lift safety training. This requirement enables supervisors to reduce liability and improve safety by understanding:

  •  what type of MEWP is appropriate for the job
  •  the rules, regulations and standards that apply to MEWPs as defined in ANSI A92.22 including the safety procedures defined in the risk assessment
  •  the hazards associated with MEWPs and how to prevent accidents
  •  and ensuring the operator manual is safely stored, easily accessible and used for inspections
  • confirm that maintenance technicians are trained to inspect and service the MEWP according to manufacturer’s recommendations

Maintenance and repair personnel must conduct annual inspections in addition to evaluating any MEWP put into use after being out of service for three months or more. Maintenance personnel must also be trained on any new features load such as the load limit alarm, tilt sensor and wind speed sensor.

Changes for aerial equipment design
ANSI A92 includes new requirements for equipment manufacturers. Existing equipment does not need to be retrofitted to meet the new standard, but new MEWPs must have a gated entrance to the work platform; chains are no longer permitted.  The minimum height for equipment platform railings will increase from 39 to 43.5 inches.

Some models will have reduced lift and load speeds and MEWPs mounted on wheels and used on rough terrain will be required to have foam-filled or solid tires. Indoor-only equipment may be specifically classified as indoor use only.

Load limit¨ tilt and wind speed sensors will also be required on new models. If the safe load limit is exceeded, an alarm will sound and a sensor will prevent normal operation. Similarly, all new equipment will come with a tilt sensor alarm and system to disable boom functions if the machine exceeds its slope limit. MEWPs designed to be used outdoors will utilize a wind-speed sensor to reduce load capacities and enhance safety in windy conditions.

This article appeared in the September-October 2019 issue of Pro Contractor Rentals magazine. © 2019 Urbain Communications LLC. All rights reserved.