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Safety

The Impact of New ANSI Standards on Dealers and Rental Companies

Blog Posts - Feb 18

The Impact of New ANSI Standards on Dealers and Rental Companies

JLG Industries, Inc.
World-leading access equipment manufacturer
____
McConnellsburg, PA

The wait is almost over for aerial work platform (AWP) dealers and rental companies. Sorry, by now we should be using the new term mobile elevating work platform, or MEWP for short. This is what these types of machines will be called moving forward, according to the eagerly anticipated new ANSI A92 Standards, that are due to be published soon.

While some dealers and rental outlets have already started to see some of these changes in Canada (the new CSA standard was published in May 2017), some changes are beginning to show up on limited models in North America as manufacturers gear up to meet the new requirements. The old standards remain in effect until one year from the date the new standards are published. Based on the current timeline for the United States, it will be 2019 before all new production units must meet the new standards.

For many, the challenge will be to minimize the impact this transition will have on their business and to assess the effect on technical and fleet operations. Additional information and training has been gradually released from equipment manufacturers and suppliers over the last six months, and many major rental companies have contributed comments to the development of these standards that affect machine use, training and design.

For many, the challenge will be to minimize the impact this transition will have on their business and to assess the effect on technical and fleet operations.

To ensure a smooth transition, equipment dealers and rental companies will play a significant role in helping users, sites and operators understand and plan for these changes. Communication throughout the supply chain will be extremely important.

Although the new standards will heavily impact operators and machine users, fleet managers and equipment owners will still be affected. At a minimum, they will face challenges when integrating or using new equipment. They will have to address questions related to site training and compliance from customers and service technicians.

Given the importance of this issue, we've highlighted some of the areas that rental companies and dealers should consider over the next few months to ensure compliance for their own operations and a smooth introduction of the latest requirements for customers.

It should be noted that this list is only a summary. A full review of the standard is required to ensure compliance.

Training

The standard now lays out specific content that operator training courses must cover, so while you may run a recognized program at present, the ability to demonstrate that the course covers the requirements will be an important step in compliance. Machines are also split by machine classification, meaning training will have to occur on specific types and classifications. However, it is important that owners, dealers and training providers recognize their obligations in relation to the content and the type of courses required for specific machine types.

In addition to MEWP operators, occupants and supervisors (ANSI regions only) are also identified for specific training, including in a variety of rescue requirements. For owners, this will mean training current technicians and platform occupants in line with the latest standards. It may not require all staff to be retrained, but under the new training standards, current qualifications would need to be demonstrated for each class of equipment being operated by the individual.

In addition to MEWP operators, occupants and supervisors (ANSI regions only) are also identified for specific training, including in a variety of rescue requirements.

While this will bring additional work in undertaking reviews of internal training procedures, there are undoubtedly opportunities in these areas to support sites in the provision of suitable course options to accompany standard operator training programs.

For service technicians qualified in Canada, the maintenance training requirements have been aligned with those which were already in place for ANSI. If owners are utilizing site or third-party persons to support machine inspections and maintenance other than that required by the daily walk-around inspections, owners must consider if the person undertaking such tasks is qualified.

While there seem to be further obligations in relation to documenting courses, there are clear benefits in the form of online training being formally recognized, and we anticipate significant growth in this area, both in order to demonstrate compliance and in support of our growing digital world. Also, be prepared for an expansion of current offerings from manufacturers and other training organizations in this area.

Maintenance and Planning

The owner is obliged to complete any essential maintenance or servicing activities during the rental period and, in the event the rental exceeds 12 months, to arrange the annual machine inspection (AMI). While users are responsible for the daily inspection, the new standard requires the AMI completion and expiration date to be marked on the MEWP. While this may have been completed voluntarily in the past by some, you can expect to see machines which are not compliant or clearly marked either returned from the site or, at the very least, the owner will receive a request to complete the AMI.

Familiarization

Operators with suitable experience may complete self-familiarization under the new standard. The requirement still exists to offer familiarization but has been modified to an as-requested basis. Given the additional obligations on sites from the Safe Use Standard and the benefits not only in terms of safety but also in reducing nuisance service calls for minor operational elements (e-stop being depressed so machine won't start), it will be interesting to see if rental companies implement alternative practices to those in place today.

The requirement still exists to offer familiarization but has been modified to an as-requested basis.

Companies providing equipment to end users are likely to see additional requests in relation to any information for accessories fitted to machines. They must also be able to demonstrate how warnings and instructions from manufacturers are communicated.

Elements that all owners and dealers will need to consider are how they familiarize their own technicians, especially in relation to new features brought on by the design requirements.

Machine Features

Many manufacturers have already provided useful guidance, which covers specific elements relevant to functional changes. Of course, all operation manuals will include these elements for applicable machines.

Required components on new machines, such as updated railings or gates, must be supplied by the OEM when manufactured. If/when replaced, they must meet the original OEM specs to remain compliant. Replacing a gate with a chain on a new machine would constitute an unauthorized product modification, rendering the machine non-compliant.

Owners and rental companies must consider how they might be able to assist users in meeting their obligations. For example, using features such as electronic key pads or telematic access control to further reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access for certain job sites.

For more detailed information, download the full list of machine design changes and their expected impact.

Final Remarks

The publishing of any best practice or standard can be viewed with skepticism and sometimes fear, but working together and sharing information will help ensure safe workers and job sites.

If you are looking for further information or guidance in relation to the application of these standards, contact your equipment supplier, manufacturer or order a copy of the applicable document. You can also take a look at our online ANSI resources.

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JLG Industries, Inc. is the world's leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of access equipment. The Company's diverse product portfolio includes leading brands such as JLG® aerial work platforms; JLG, SkyTrak® and Lull® telehandlers; and an array of complementary accessories that increase the versatility and efficiency of these products. JLG is an Oshkosh Corporation Company [NYSE: OSK].
An Oshkosh Corporation Company