Occupant: An entity on the work platform.
Operator: An entity qualified to control the movement of a MEWP.
User: An entity that has care, custody and control of the MEWP.
Work platform: Component of the MEWP intended for carrying personnel along with their necessary tools and materials.
Revised Suite of ANSI/SAIA A92 Standards
Within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Construction standards – 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1926 Subpart L and General Industry standards (29 CFR 1910 Subpart F) the design and construction of aerial lifts meeting ANSI A92.2 is addressed:
- 29 CFR 1926.453(a)(1) “...aerial lifts acquired for use on or after January 22, 1973 shall be designed and constructed in conformance with the applicable requirements of the American National Standards for "Vehicle Mounted Elevating and Rotating Work Platforms," ANSI A92.2-1969, including appendix.”
- 29 CFR 1910.67(b)(1) “…aerial devices (aerial lifts) acquired on or after July 1, 1975, shall be designed and constructed in conformance with the applicable requirements of the American National Standard for “Vehicle Mounted Elevating and Rotating Work Platforms,” ANSI A92.2—1969, including appendix.”
The revised suite of ANSI/SAIA A92 standards now include:
- ANSI/SAIA A92.20-2020, Design Calculations, Safety Requirements, and Test Methods for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)
- This Standard focuses on the design, calculations, safety requirements and testing methods for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). It serves as a guide for manufacturers and engineers so they can build compliant machines. Load sensing, wind force requirements, tire types, tilt sensing requirements, height of folding rails, and machine markings and documentation are addressed. Older machines do not need to be retrofitted to meet the new standards.
- ANSI/SAIA A92.22-2020, Safe Use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)
- This Standard governs the safe use of MEWPs by specifying proper application, inspection, training, maintenance, repair and safe operation. One of the main requirements is developing a safe use program to guide MEWP use as it relates to job site safety. To develop an effective compliant safe use program, first a site risk assessment must be conducted. The assessment should define the task, location and timing of the work; specify the MEWP to be used; and identify training and rescue planning needs. Once a safety plan has been developed, it should be shared with everyone who will be on site during the work. This Standard mostly impacts safety managers, supervisors, and MEWP operators and clear communication of developed safety plans amongst them is key.
- ANSI/SAIA A 92.24-2018, Training Requirements for the Use, Operation, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)
- This Standard focuses on training requirements and primarily impacts end users and dealers. It provides guidance on preparing training materials, defines how training should be delivered, and identified required training elements. According to the standard, all training must be delivered by a qualified person who is experienced with the class of MEWP being trained on. The qualified trainer must be knowledgeable on the laws, regulations, safety use practices, manufacturer’s requirements and recognition and avoidance of hazards. Operators and others who will be in contact with the MEWP must be trained. Others include supervisors - those who directly supervise MEWP operators, and occupants - those on the work platform who are not considered operators.
The following ANSI/SAIA standards were withdrawn on the effective dates of the A92.20, A92.22 and A92.24 standards:
- ANSI A92.3-2006 (R2014) Manually Propelled Elevating Aerial Platforms
- ANSI A92.5-2006 (R2014) Boom-Supported Elevating Work Platforms
- ANSI A92.6-2006 (R2014) Self Propelled Elevating Work Platforms
- ANSI A92.8-2015 Vehicle Mounted Elevating and Rotating Aerial Platform
OSHA’s fall protection requirements are found in 29 CFR1 926 Subpart M, 1926.500 – 503 and 2CFR 1910 Subparts D, F and I, 1910.23, .66, .67 and .140.
According to ANSI/SAIA A92.22 standard the primary means of fall protection on all MEWPs is provided by the guardrail system. If personal fall protection is required, either fall restraint or fall arrest, operators and occupants must comply with the instructions provided by the manufacturer regarding anchorage(s). All Group B MEWP operators and occupants must use personal fall arrest or fall restraint systems at all times.
A fall restraint system prevents MEWP operators and occupants from being exposed to a fall. The following type of fall protection equipment can be used for fall restraint: a short or adjustable restraint lanyard and a body belt or a full-body harness. However, this system prevents freedom of movement for the worker.
A fall arrest system is used to minimize the distances and consequences of a fall should one occur. They are designed to provide freedom of movement for the worker. The following type of fall protection equipment can be used for fall arrest: a self-retracting lifeline and a full body harness. Personal fall arrest systems must be rigged so that an employee cannot free fall more than six feet or allow the worker to come in contact with a lower surface.
Determining the correct fall protection system should be based on a risk assessment and evaluated by a competent person as defined in 29 CFR 1910.66 Appendix C. There are several fall clearance calculators that can be used to determine the safe fall distance.