Recently revised consensus standards under ANSI A92 cover mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs) such as boom and scissor lifts and other aerial work platforms. These revised standards become effective March 1, 2020, and address new design issues, simplify MEWP classification terminology, and promote better safety and training.
While OSHA enforcement is still being considered, insurance and liability concerns may justify compliance with these new consensus standards.
Currently many of the standards for design affect manufacturers and suppliers. However, owners and operators must meet new training obligations, participate in extensive planning to consider machine choice and application, and perform site risk assessments for all MEWP operations.
It's important to note that anyone qualified under current standards will not be qualified under the new standards until they undergo additional training.
Dealers and rental companies will need to update their training procedures and onboarding as well as their operations manuals to support the new requirements, and also train their own employees on new machine features and the new standards. Lastly, they must also offer familiarization to customers who rent, lease or buy this equipment.
At this time there has been no clear direction from Federal OSHA regarding enforcement of these new standards. OSHA commonly enforces consensus standards “by reference” in an existing standard or through the “general duty clause” which requires employers provide a workplace free of recognized hazards.
Regulatory procedure would dictate that OSHA open a rulemaking process for new / revised regulations of this magnitude and SMACNA will participate in this process if or when it occurs. States with state-run OSHA programs will also need to determine appropriate enforcement policies and directives.
SMACNA members who own, use or otherwise operate MEWPs should contact their manufacturer, distributor or rental company for further information and update MEWP training and use procedures. Members should also be aware for any future Federal or state OSHA enforcement requirements that may govern these rules.
Please view this video for further explanation of the new rules.