Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) is committed to transparency and keeping customers informed of industry updates/regulations to ensure successful transitions and positive experiences.
The importance of educating customers on impact of new standards
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is expected to release new standards for boom and scissor-type lifts, in the coming months. The updated standards have significant implications for the construction, equipment rental and equipment sales industries and will impact prices, training and operations. An important aspect of the implementation will be equipping customers for the change; both for awareness and preparation purposes.
The new regulations are replacing prior ANSI standards A92.3, A92.5, A92.6 and A92.8 which covered manually propelled aerial, booms, scissors and under-bridge inspection machines. The updates are focused on moving North American equipment toward current global standards. The updates to regulation will include: terminology changes, platform load sensing technology requirements, new wind force requirements, new stability testing, new railing height requirements and new platform entry requirements. ANSI and their Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Standards Authority (CSA), are moving toward equipment design standards that will bring North American equipment up-to-date with the current standards implemented in Europe to reduce global variances in the industry.
Educating customers is particularly important because of the, plausibly, profound impact that the new standards will have on equipment operation and prices (on compliant machines). Manufacturers will be forced to invest in production to supply compliant machines within the one-year from implementation limit and the new features and production costs will raise the prices of machines for direct buyers, including rental companies.
The precise impact of the new standards is yet to seen, but it’s clear that the standards will have a significant impact on prices, equipment operation and training procedures. Thus education will be very important to ensure a smooth transition for companies and their customers.
How training will play a part in the implementation of the new standards
Training is expected to play an integral part in the successful implementation of the new A92 standards. New training and familiarization requirements will be implemented under sections A92.22 and A92.24. A significant change to prior requirements is in the new requirement of training occupants and supervisors along with operators. In addition, online theory will be available as an option for operator training.
Occupant training will include the use of fall protection, stability factors, safe use of accessories, work procedures, hazard avoidance, manufacturer warnings/instructions, site risk assessment, general knowledge and basic operation comprehension.
Supervisor training will include proper equipment selection, potential hazards training, applicable rules/regulations/standards and manufacturer operation manuals.
Recently, James Lennartz, Training Manager at Hugg & Hall, spoke on the importance of training as it relates to the ANSI A92 updates.
“We need to make sure that our customers are prepared for the changes so that they do not lose valuable time on their projects,” said Lennartz. “Every single one of our customers are on time schedules to complete their projects and if they are not aware of the coming changes they have the potential to fall behind on the completion date and lose money; their delays cost their customers time and money. A vicious cycle.”
The standards specify requirements for application, inspection, training, maintenance, repair and safe operation of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) formally known as Aerial Work Platforms (AWPs), according to Lennartz.
“Our task as trainers is to ensure that our customers are aware of all changes and how they will affect their daily processes throughout the work day on each jobsite,” said Lennartz. “No one jobsite is the same nor are the conditions at which the MEWPs are being used by our customers. We need to make sure that both operators of MEWPs and their supervisors are able to safely operate and evaluate the use of MEWPs.”
Lennartz elaborated on how Hugg & Hall trainers are strategizing to accomplish these important goals.
“We hope to accomplish this by providing the necessary information in regards to the features, functions, safety devices, equipment limitations and operating characteristics as defined by the manufacturer, utilizing both the standards and operator manuals,” said Lennartz.
The new ANSI standards will require more customer engagement, which is a primary reason customer education/training, leading up to the implementation of the standards, is essential.
“From what we are seeing the customer is going to have a bigger role in how their operators are using the MEWPs,” said Lennartz.
Customers are expected to be more involved in areas such as safe use planning, records retention, personnel qualifications, training requirements and rescue from height plans, according to Lennartz.
“Personnel operating MEWPs will be trained based on the classification of equipment that they will operate as equipment will be divided into different types and groups,” said Lennartz.