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Industry Outlook: Impact of the New ANSI Standards on Manufacturers

Blog Posts - Sep 21

Industry Outlook: Impact of the New ANSI Standards on Manufacturers

Jennifer Stiansen
Director of Marketing
JLG Industries

In June 2020, the updated suite of ANSI A92 standards went into effect in North America. In preparing for these new industry standards, we’ve talked quite a bit about the impact on equipment dealers and rental companies, as well as end-users like the site supervisors and equipment operators.

That said, it’s also important to note that aerial equipment manufacturers, like JLG, play a major role in helping the industry be complaint to these new standards. Below are insights into the impact of the new ANSI standards on manufacturers.
At A Glance ANSI
How have the new ANSI standards impacted JLG? 
The 2016-18 Global MEWP Safety Report by the International Powered Access Federation found the majority of MEWP accidents resulting in fatalities occur in the U.S. The new ANSI A92 standards aim to reduce incidents and prevent injuries and deaths through machine design, safe use and training. This means that as an aerial equipment manufacturer distributing newly manufactured MEWPs in North America, we now have an updated set of standards to adhere to.

For example, the Machine Design section serves as a guide for equipment manufacturers like JLG to build compliant machines. It encompasses several components of aerial access equipment, including the design, calculations, safety requirements and test methods for MEWPs. To be compliant, many new features must now be incorporated into our MEWPs’ design that influence the machine’s operation and/or functionality, including:

  • Load Sensing Systems (LSS)
  • Sustained involuntary operation protection
  • Stability with a deflated pneumatic tire
  • Stability to include dynamic loading as well as wind loading
  • Function cutouts and angle tilt sensors
  • A sensing system for broken or slack wire rope in the boom 
  • Increased platform railing height
  • Elimination of chain or rope gates
  • Removal of the enable switch on the ground control panel

As the name suggests, the Safe Use section focuses on providing guidance for the safe use of MEWPs on job sites, including requirements for the application, inspection, training, maintenance, repair and safe operation of these machines. As an aerial equipment manufacturer, it important that we provide specific details on our products that users need to be in compliance with the updated Safe Use sections include information on:

  • Annual Inspections
  • Fall Protection
  • Familiarization

The Training section provides information to manufacturers, like JLG, and other users on the most up-to-date training requirements outlined in the standards. It provides guidance on preparing MEWP training materials, defines how theoretical and practical training should be delivered and identifies required elements for proper training and familiarization. As an aerial equipment manufacturer, we have committed to providing operator training programs that meet the training requirements in the updated standards, which are broken down into two sections: Theory and Practical. Our theory training includes:

  • Safe use as defined in A92.22
  • 25 specific items listed in A92.24
  • Knowledge evaluation

And, our practical training includes:

  • MEWP operation for a sufficient period of time to demonstrate proficiency 
  • 7 specific items listed in A92.24
  • Practical evaluation

As you mention in your question, the standards were drafted to be similar to international standards, like AS/NZS, CE/EN, GB and ISO, to better align North American aerial equipment manufacturers with the global market. Aligning the North American market more closely with the global markets will set a safety level for all participants, as well as drive commonality and stronger market competition to advance the industry as a whole.

How did JLG prepare for the new ANSI standards?
At JLG, we decided early on (long before the standards were published) that we were committed to meeting the standards, even exceeding them where it was possible and added value to the customer. Our product development team worked tirelessly to develop, test and produce new JLG® MEWP features and new products that could improve job site safety on every level. 

How is JLG supporting its customers through the transition to the new standards?
At JLG, we believe that compliance to the updated ANSI A92 standards is critical and should not be taken lightly – or ignored. We lead by example, and we are committed to helping everyone in the industry be compliant. For example, training is an essential part of supporting our customers through the transition of being in compliance with the updated standards, as well, of course, to being successful on the job. 

Along with our compliant equipment, we also gave our training programs a facelift and now offer a variety of standards-compliant options to help our customers meet the new ANSI requirements, including:

  • Service and equipment training online through JLG University or in-person at the JLG training center and proving grounds
  • Train-the-Trainer courses to teach participants how to train MEWP operators
  • AccessReady e-learning modules for operators and supervisors
  • AccessReady XR virtual reality training that provides real-time interaction and true-to-life job site scenarios

In addition, we took an unconventional approach to educating the industry about the changes once they were published. Feedback from our customers revealed that with all the delays around the publication of the standards, people weren’t fully clear on what and how they’d be impacted. 

To help the industry prepare for the new standards, we developed the JLG bootcamp video series, which is intended to both educate and entertain viewers to help them learn more about the changes. These videos received positive feedback from rental companies, end-users and our internal team members who noted they really helped them get their arms around what to expect and how they’d be impacted by the changes associated with the new ANSI A92 suite of standards. 

We also offer content on the JLG #DirectAccess education and information site about the standards changes as another resource for equipment owners and operators to learn more about the changes and better understand the impact to the industry.

What feedback has JLG received from customers on the new ANSI-compliant products?
JLG works closely with customers to develop its products, eliciting feedback throughout the design and engineering phases. We are driven by the principal of “customer-inspired innovation.” So, hearing directly from our customers how the solutions we are working on help them complete their work, or how they can be improved to add additional value, is extremely important. We engaged in this process throughout the development of all our ANSI 92.20 machine design solutions. 

Because the original publication date of the new standards was delayed a number of times, this gave JLG ample opportunity to explore a variety of customer-inspired solutions that not only met the new machine design requirements, but we also had time to evolve those solutions to go beyond meeting the minimal requirements of the standards. In some cases, the evolution of these solutions enabled JLG to deliver an innovative new feature to the market that has had tangible performance benefits to the customer. 

A good example would be the ability to do zero-load calibrations in our automatic load sensing system for boom lifts. As part of the new standards, platform load sensing is now required on all MEWPs to prevent MEWPs from operating if limits are exceeded. To meet this requirement, we developed a brand-new automatic load sensing system that is designed to keep the machine within the allowable work envelope by limiting range depending on platform load. It alerts an operator when the allowable limit of the work envelope is exceeded and enables the operator to boom down or retract into a safe zone to continue working. As we were developing this new system, we took the opportunity to include an additional capability and added the zero-load calibration feature, which eliminates the need to use external weights to calibrate the machine. This saves time and effort because the machine can be recalibrated to full capacity, without placing a 1,000-lb (453.59 kg) load in the platform. 

Another example would be the JLG QuikFold rail option, which is now available on select scissor lift models. New requirements in the standards call for taller rails making it harder for scissor lifts that are designed for indoor use to fit through standard doorways. This resulted in the need for fold-down rails on scissor lifts that previously had fixed rails to reduce their overall height in order to navigate through standard doorways. But, folding down the rails, typically held in place by removable pins, can be time-consuming and disruptive to job site productivity. And, redesigning scissor lifts to be shorter is expensive, and it can impact their performance. Instead of only offering a folding rail option, JLG developed an alternative solution — the JLG QuikFold rail system which allows operators to fold the rails in a fraction of the time of standard folding rails. Here’s how: You undo two latches, go to the rear of the machine, squeeze, and the rails fold down. It takes three seconds, instead of three minutes, and there's no pins to get lost.

These two examples are just two ways JLG has used the new ANSI 92 suite of standards to build greater value into its machines. 

JLG is committed to meeting and exceeding these new standards. With a broad range of products and training options available to owners, operators, dealers and rental companies, JLG helps the industry meet new the ANSI standards. Download our Essential Guide to Understanding ANSI & CSA Standard Changes to work more and worry less. To learn more, click here

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