Roofers Face Elevation Problems

As with all US mandatory safety and health regulations or independent recommended guidelines, they must eventually change focus and evolve scope with changing times and design developments.  So it is with Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP), formerly known as Aerial Work Platforms (AWP). The ANSI A92 Standard (originally published 1969) has recently been reissued by the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC A92), with an effective enforcement date of Dec. 1, 2019, allowing a 12-month period for employer compliance.

The updated 2018 ANSI A92 standard suite has been subdivided as follows:

A92.20:      Design, Calculations, Safety Requirements, Test Methods for MEWPs

A92.22:      Safe Use of MEWPs

A92.24:      Training Requirements for Operators of MEWPs

In addition, the class of MEWPs will now be re-categorized by Group (platform to chassis orientation) and Type (travel method) as follows:

Group A:   Platform remains vertical over chassis (Scissor Lift)

Group B:   Platform attached to boom; extends beyond chassis (Boom Lift)

Type1:        No travel beyond stowed positon

Type 2:       Travel controlled from chassis

Type 3:       Travel controlled from platform; capable of travel while elevated

Soon, MEWP manufacturers will label each unit with a label indicating its specific ANSI  A92 classification (E.G., A-1, B-3, etc.). By this method the owner/user may easily identify any specific familiarization practices and/or training requirements they will be required to provide their employees prior to equipment operation and use in he field. 

A few of the many topics revised in A92-2018 will included:

General Changes:

  • Definitions of terms commonly used
  • Equipment classifications (Group & Type)
  • Format changed to Primary Task of Design
  • New vs used MEWPs

Equipment Design Changes:

  • Active platform load-sensing
  • Wind force requirements
  • Stability testing
  • Platform entrance gate
  • Tilt sensor alarm
  • Annual and pre-use inspections
  • Contents of pre-use familiarization
  • Guardrail height

Safe-Use Changes (The most comprehensive):

  • Safe pre-use plan
  • Regular user examination
  • Operator retraining requirements
  • Operator physical/mental capabilities
  • Equipment modification approvals
  • Rescue planning
  • Exiting platform at height
  • Electrical hazard awareness & controls
  • Performance requirements for pre-use familiarization

Training Changes:

  • Completion by effective enforcement date
  • Specific to MEWP classification
  • Trainee comprehension
  • Supervisor training requirements
  • Internal/external  training administration & record-keeping

The International Powered Access Federation offers either a partial or complete certified MEWP Training Programs for Supervisors and Operators, including both theory and hands-on modules.  They may be contacted at www.ipaf.org/en-us/m4m  for further details.  

They also offer an extremely handy, free download of their Guide to New Design, Safe-Use and Training Standards For MEWPS, highlighting many of the changes in the completely reissued A92, which I’ve abbreviated here. Contractors who require their employees to use MEWPs, either often or infrequently, should acquaint themselves with these new requirements, which will inevitably be enforced on site by OSHA sometime after December, 2019. Copy-written versions of the entire revised ANSI A92 standard may be purchased at: www.https:/webstore.ansi.org  This would be an advisable addition to most employer’s regulatory library.

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