New Standards for Aerial Lifts – Compliance Deadline Extended to March 1, 2020

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineOctober 14, 2019. Updated December 16, 2019.
by NFC Staff


In December 2018 ANSI released new standards for aerial lifts, now referred to as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs). The original December 10, 2019 deadline for employers, owners, and operators to be in compliance has been extended to March 1, 2020.

As shown in the video, rather than being classified by the equipment type, MEWPs are now broken up by Groups:

  • Group A: The center of the work platform does not extend beyond the edge of the chassis at any time (e.g., scissor lifts).
  • Group B: The center of the work platform can extend beyond the chassis (e.g., boom lifts).

Then sub-divided into Types:

  • Type 1: The equipment can only be driven with the platform in its stowed position.
  • Type 2: The equipment can be driven elevated but is controlled from the chassis.
  • Type 3: The equipment can be driven elevated while controlled from the work platform.

The updated standard requires that new aerial lifts must be equipped with two types of sensors: One sounds an alarm and prevents the machine from operating when the load exceeds safety limits, the other that triggers an alarm when the slope level gets too steep.

Additional equipment changes for MEWPs include:

  • No longer allows the use of chains to close off an entrance to the work platform. Instead, they must use gates that include toe guards.
  • Having wind speed sensors when used for outdoor work to allow workers to reduce workloads in high winds.
  • Requiring platform railings being at least 43.5" in height (up from 39").
  • Being fitted with solid or foam-filled tires when used on rough terrain to help make MEWP more stable while on the job.

Furthermore, according to the new standards, MEWP users must have a written Safe Use Plan that includes:

  • A detailed site risk assessment.
  • Rescue plans that all workers understand.
  • Having a trained supervisor monitor worker compliance with the new standards.
  • Steps for preventing unauthorized MEWP use.
  • Steps for protecting the safety of workers not operating the MEWP.

While ASI standards are voluntary, not following them could violate OSHA’s “General Duty” clause requiring employers to keep the workplace free from hazards.

NFC’s FrameSAFE program is based on OSHA 1926 and includes a module outlining guidelines for safe use and inspection of aerial lifts as well as Toolbox Talks to reinforce training with your employees. For more information contact NFC staff.

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