AWPs to MEWPs, HUH?

20 February 2020

If you operate, supervise an operator or own a scissor lift/boomlift, you need to know how the new ANSI standards affect your company.  These changes go into effect March 1, 2020.

Aerial work platforms (AWPs) are now called Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs).  The ANSI revisions are extensive, and the purpose is safety.  The revised standards are:

  ANSI A92.22 – 2018 Safe Use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)

ANSI A92.24 -2081 Training Requirements for the Use, Operation, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)

In addition to the name change, MEWPs will now be classified into “groups” and “types”. 

The “group” classification is determined by whether the platform stays within the tipping lines or moves beyond the tipping lines; while the “type” refers to traveling.

These MEWPS classifications are:

 Type 1:  Traveling allowed only when in the stowed position.

Type 2:  When travelling with the work platform in the elevated travel position is controlled from a point on the chassis.

Type 3:  When travelling with the work platform in the elevated travel position is controlled from a point on the work platform.

(Type 2 and type 3 MEWPs can be combined.)

Group A: Platform is always within tipping lines (e.g. scissor lift)

Group B:  MEWPs not in Group A (e.g. boomlift)

These two standards are massive changes that affect design, training and use.

Current lifts do not have to be retrofitted to the new safety design factors.  Operators will need to know how to operate current lifts and also lifts manufactured to the new design criteria.  Some of these new features include toe-boards on all platforms; non-flexible entrance gates (no more scissor lift chains); higher platform railings and new sustained involuntary operation controls.

Companies need to revise their lift plans to include a rescue plan.  This rescue plan must be incorporated into the company’s training program.

Operators can only operate MEWPs on which they have been trained.  New training certificates must specify Type and Group they are qualified on.

Occupants (someone on the platform with the operator) must be trained by the MEWP operator on how to work safely from the lift.  At least one occupant must be taught how to operate the controls in an emergency.  This does not qualify them to operate the lift at any time other than an emergency.

Supervisors of Operators Training Requirements:

  1.  Proper selection of MEWP for work being performed.
  2. Rules, regulations and standards that apply to MEWPs; including provisions of safe use, training and familiarization, and the work being performed.
  3. Potential hazards and means to protect against identified hazards.
  4. Knowledge that the manufacturer’s manuals are integral to the operation of the MEWP and must be present on MEWP.

Operator Training:

Training includes classroom and hands-on operation and evaluation.

Classroom Training shall include MEWP safe use as defined in A92.22, and shall also include the following (partial list):

  1.  Validation that the annual inspection is Current on the placard when present on the MEWP.
  2. Knowledge how to perform a pre-start inspection.
  3. Responsibilities associated with problems or malfunctions affecting the MEWP operation.
  4. Knowing and understanding factors affecting stability.
  5. Recognition and avoidance of hazards associated with operation.
  6. Knowing and understanding workplace inspections.
  7. Knowing and understanding wind hazards and weather conditions.
  8. Factors including how their actions could affect stability.

Each trainee must demonstrate competency in both theory (classroom) and hands-on.  Results of both shall be documented.

Though ANSI standards are voluntary, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can refer to them when there is an accident or if they see a violation of OSHA rules. Also, there may be potential liability should an accident occur and the industry’s “best practice” standards were not followed. The first thing the lawyers will ask for is your written policy and training records.

If you have questions, need a new policy or to schedule training, call 800.200.0888 or email Friday@mrsoshasafety.com.