Preparing For the 2020 Aerial Lifts, Scissor Lifts and Mobile Elevated Work Platforms Rule Changes

ANSI A92, which covers aerial lifts, scissor lifts and mobile elevated work platforms has been revised and will impact the construction industry.  Originally scheduled to become effective last week, the revisions will become effective on March 31, 2020.  These revisions impact the manufacturers, owners and operators of the lifts.

Under the revisions, lifts are divided into Group A for those with platforms that move vertically but stay inside the tipping line, and Group B for all other lifts such as boom-type equipment where the platform extends past the tipping line.  Within each of these groups, lifts are further are separated into types: Type 1 for those that travel only in the stowed position, Type 2 for those that can travel while elevated but controlled from the chassis, and Type 3 for those that can travel while elevated but controlled from the work platform.

Dealers and rental companies will need to update their training procedures and onboarding manuals to support new requirements and train employees on new machine features and the new standards. They must also offer familiarization to customers who rent, lease or buy this equipment.

The owners of the lifts must also ensure that maintenance and repair personnel are trained by a qualified person to inspect and maintain the lifts, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and ANSI standards. In the case where a lift is being rented, arrangements must be made by the owner to identify the entity that will be responsible for the inspections and maintenance activities described in the standard. These include but are not limited to:

  • Frequent Inspections — When the MEWP is put into service, has been out of service for three months, has been in service for three months or 150 hours, whichever comes first.
  • Annual Inspections — Performed no later than 13 months after the previous annual inspection, the annual inspection must be documented on the outside of the MEWP in the form of a decal or plate and must identify the person who performed the inspection and the date the inspection was performed.

When a dealer rents a lift to a user, the user absorbs all responsibilities as outlined in this article to ensure that they meet all of the requirements listed in the standard unless your contract states otherwise.

Owners and operators must meet all new training requirements, participate in extensive planning to consider machine choice and application, and perform site risk assessments for all lift operations and training procedures.

Anyone qualified under current standards will not be qualified under the new standards until they undergo additional training.   While current regulations require all operators in the industry to go through safety training, the new standards will require everyone who supervises lift operators to also be trained.

Operator training can be broken down into three segments: theory, practice and evaluation. The theory segment can be learned in a classroom or online and includes training on the entire safe-use standard and its application to each machine. The practice segment includes applying this knowledge for proper hands-on experience and machine operation. The evaluation includes proper documentation of success in the previous two training segments.

The question regarding OSHA enforcement of the revisions can be complicated.  Lifts are included in the 1926 Subpart L – Scaffolds in section 1926.453.  In that section, OSHA mandates that all lifts meet ANSI A92.2-1969.

However, when OSHA standard incorporates an earlier ANSI, the only way the OSHA standard can be changed to adopt the new version is through rulemaking. For example, the aerial lift standard references ANSI A92.2-1969. Even though ANSI A92 has been revised, the OSHA aerial lift standard continues to require only compliance with the 1969 standard.

The caveat, however, is in a February 28, 2001 OSHA Letter of Interpretation which states “Industry consensus standards can be evidence that an industry recognizes a hazard and that there are feasible means of correcting the hazard” and section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, also known as the General Duty Clause can be cited with a maximum penalty of $13,260 per violation.

Previously, Safety and Risk Solutions lift training included classroom and practical sessions.  Starting immediately, we will now include a written examination and include ANSI A92.24 training compliance on the Certificate of Attendance.  We will also incorporate the new standard in our inspection checklist starting in 2020.

We recognize that this compliance date has been pushed back once and may be pushed back further.  Safety and Risk Solutions recommends that our clients:

  • Adjust their contracts with the lift rental agencies to comply with ANSI A92, including the rental agency providing training on the use of the lifts.
  • Start scheduling training of operators and their supervisors to comply with the new A92 training requirements.
  • Notify your trade contractors of the new standard requirements.

If anyone is more familiar with the revisions and has more to offer, we would welcome that.  We will have a copy of the new ANSI standard shortly and share further details with our clients soon.  Otherwise, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.