The A92 standards provide information on the design, safe use and training requirements for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs).
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A92 suite of standards provides industry standards for the design, safe use and training for the use of MEWPs. ANSI standards are voluntary; however, they are considered industry best practices.
The Design standard (ANSI A92.20) provides manufacturers and others with standards for the design of equipment manufactured after the standard's compliance date. It does not impact equipment manufactured prior to the date of implementation. The remaining two standards are the Safe Use standard (ANSI A92.22) and the Training standard (ANSI A92.24). Both of these standards assist users, operators, owners, etc. in understanding and applying safe use practices and ensuring training to support safe use. Compliance dates vary for the three standards as discussed below, but as of August 15, 2021, all three standards are in effect.
The standards cover most aspects of MEWP design and use, including an update to the terminology used for aerial work platforms (referred to in the ANSI A92 standards as MEWPs). This terminology aids in making the ANSI A92 standards more consistent with other standards.
MEWPs now classified by group and type
In ANSI A92 standards, MEWPs are categorized into two groups.
- Group A. For these MEWPs, the center of the work platform remains within the perimeter of the chassis at all times. Examples include scissor lifts and vertical lifts.
- Group B. For these MEWPs, the center of the work platform can be positioned beyond the chassis. For example, boom lifts are included in Group B.
Each group is further broken down into types.
- Type 1 MEWPs that can travel only with the platform in the stowed position and must be moved manually.
- Type 2 MEWPs that are controlled from the chassis and can be driven with the platform elevated.
- Type 3 MEWPs that have controls on the work platform and can be driven in the elevated position.
Breaking down ANSI A92 MEWP standards
The ANSI A92 MEWP standards cover three areas that affect the industry: equipment design, safe use and training.
Equipment design: ANSI A92.20 standard
Under the ANSI A92.20 standard, manufacturers are required to include several safety features in new MEWPs, including:
- Sensors that sound a visual or audible alarm and prevent the machine from operating when the safe load limit is exceeded
- A tilt sensor that triggers an alarm and prevents movement of the chassis or work platform when a certain level of slope is exceeded
- A gate, complete with toe guards, to close off entrances to the work platform. Chains are no longer permitted on new equipment
- 43.5-inch platform railings, up from 39 inches
- Solid tires or foam-filled tires rather than air-filled tires for MEWPs used on rough terrain for improved stability
Safe operation and training: A92.22 standard and A92.24 standard
ANSI 92.22 supports the safe use of MEWPs and ANSI 92.24 provides information for the general training content for operators, supervisors and maintenance personnel.
Some of the new requirements: Equipment maintenance personnel must receive training on the new safety features, such as the tilt and load sensors, and supervisors of MEWPs operators must also receive specific training. The content of operator training was further enhanced as well.
ANSI A92 also requires a written site-specific and equipment-specific rescue plan. “Although that’s always been needed, until this revision it has not been spelled out in ANSI," said Braden. You’ll need to write down, for example, how an operator should be rescued if they are elevated in a boom lift and it no longer functions.
All of these changes require companies to update their training for those that operate, supervise or maintain MEWPs.
MEWP operator training is a two-part process, with a theory portion and a hands-on practical evaluation while operating MEWPs. United Rentals’ operator training offering is a blended learning program allowing operators seeking operator training to take the course (theory portion) online at their own pace and convenience, followed by the practical evaluation session conducted at one of United Rentals’ branches or at their own location.
Creating a global safety standard
ANSI A92, which applies to American-made MEWPs, is a step toward a global standard. The new standards incorporate terminology and topics that further align them with other international standards, such as Canada's CSA B354.
The new standards are spelled out in more detail on the Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA) site, where the standards may also be purchased:
- ANSI/SAIA A92.20-2021: Design, Calculations, Safety Requirements and Test Methods for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)
- ANSI/SAIA A92.22-2021: Safe Use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)
- ANSI/SAIA A92.24-2018: Training Requirements for the Use, Operation, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)
Freelance writer Mary Lou Jay writes about business and technical developments in a variety of industries. She has been covering residential and commercial construction for more than 25 years.