Tag Archives: MEWP

How to Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection

How to Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection

Safety should be the most important priority on any job site and equipment should be inspected before each use to ensure the safety of both operators and pedestrians. A pre-operation inspection is a visual examination performed by the operator before each use/shift. The purpose of pre-operation inspections is to provide a safety net which may serve as a method of avoiding preventable accidents. Here’s a helpful checklist of items that should be inspected before operating your mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), telehandler or other machine. 

  • Make sure that the machine has been checked for oil leaks before each use. It’s also important to make sure that the engine has the correct level of oil because operating with low-levels of engine oil has the potential to result in costly damage to the engine. 
  • Check the entire machine for obvious damages or signs of collision/impact. 
  • Ensure that there are no hydraulic leaks and top-off if necessary. 
  • Also, check for engine coolant and battery fluid leaks before each use and add more if needed. 
  • Check entry points for efficacy and damage. 
  • Check wear pads for damage.
  • Check electrical system for damage. 
  • Check fasteners for damage. 
  • Check hydraulic system for damage.
  • Check alarms for damage. 
  • Check switches and horn for damage. 
  • Check engine for damage. 
  • Check tires and wheels for damage. 
  • Check fuel and hydraulic tanks for damage. 
  • Check motors and drive hubs for damage. 
  • Ensure that each manual (operator’s, safety, etc.) are not damaged and located in the appropriate storage container.
  • Check to ensure that all decals and messaging is present and legible. This is an important step to ensure that safety messaging and non-verbal communication can support safe operation. 
  • Check tires to ensure that they have the appropriate pressure. It’s especially important to check for tire pressure when the seasons change as colder weather can cause pressure to drop and warmer weather can cause pressure to increase. This is important because overinflation can cause an uneven tread and underinflated tires decrease fuel efficiency and cause the shoulders of the tire to wear prematurely. 
  • Check the machine for any cracks or structural damage. 
  • Check all components for any inordinate rusting.

Remember to conduct any necessary performance testing, check the workplace for obstacles/safety concerns and to operate per the owner’s manual. Once the full inspection has been completed and the machine is ready for operation, double-check that components have been re-fastened and covered. A secondary purpose of pre-operation inspections can be to identify any needed routine maintenance on a machine and determining whether maintenance is necessary before operation. It’s important to stay up-to-date with routine maintenance to avoid costly (and preventable) repairs that can intrude on project timetables and create avoidable downtime.

Fall Protection: What You Need to Know

Fall Protection: What You Need to Know

It’s important to understand the rules to ensure your following them, so we’ve put together a quick guide on the basics of fall protection requirements for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). Under the OSHA Aerial Lift Regulation, the employer, user and operator of a lift are all responsible for providing approved fall protection to employees/users. For boom-type lifts, personal fall arrest systems have specific requirements which must be met to remain within compliance. These requirements involve calculating fall distance and potential arresting force.

There are a couple of options for personal fall protection equipment for boom-type MEWPs. One is a full body harness with fall restraint system and the other is a full body harness with a self-retracting life/lanyard system. These systems are specifically required to not allow for the operator to fall more than 6 feet or to exceed 1,800 pounds in arresting force. Operators cannot come into contact with any lower surface.

Fall restraint and fall arrest are two categories of fall protection, according to an article published by Grainger.  A fall restraint system can be used to help prevent the worker from falling or being thrown from the platform and include: a short or adjustable restraint lanyard and a body belt or a full-body harness. 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 and include: a self-retracting lifeline and a full body harness.

Some factors must be taken into consideration before the self-retracting/lanyard system can be used. First, the fall restraint lanyard must be used during travel and when platform height is below the calculated total fall distance. The fall arrest lanyard can be used when the platform height is above the calculated total fall distance and, secondly, when the body belt with fall restraint is arranged so that the employee is not exposed to falling any distance outside the platform.

When calculating the total fall distance, it’s important to take into consideration the following (according to an article published by Aerial Pros):

  • Lanyard free fall distance (a)
  • Maximum allowable deceleration distance (b)
  • Maximum lock‐up length (for the self‐retracting lifeline/lanyard only) (a+b)
  • The height of the operator (c)
  • Safety factor (a suitable amount to ensure that the required clearance between the operator and the lower surface is met) (d)
    • Any stretch in the lifeline or lanyard outside of the deceleration distance.
    • Any harness effects
    • Any movement of the platform due to dynamic loading
    • Any obstructions under the platform

Other fall protection requirements which OSHA enforces, include:

  • Ensure that access gates or openings are closed.
  • Stand firmly on the floor of the bucket or lift platform.
  • Do not climb on or lean over guardrails or handrails.
  • Do not use planks, ladders, or other devices as a working position.
  • Use a body harness or a restraining belt with a lanyard attached to the boom or bucket.
  • Do not belt-off to adjacent structures or poles while in the bucket.

For more detailed information on the rules and standards which regular fall arrest systems read the following OSHA and ANSI documents, according to the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), a not-for-profit organization owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users.

For more information, please contact your local OSHA agency, your local fall protection supplier or visit: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/aerial-lifts-factsheet.html



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.

Though the new standards are yet to be released, the Hugg & Hall team is committed to keeping customers educated on upcoming industry changes and is dedicated to providing the needed support and resources.