Mobile Elevated Work Platforms – How Have Standards Changed?

Published On: April 29, 2022


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Scaffold and Access Industry Association (SAIA) standards were updated for Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) (sometimes previously referred to as “aerial lifts”) in June of 2020. These updates included new classifications (groups and types) which can impact facilities and industry.

These revisions that OSHA has adopted as guidelines and Best Management Practices (BMPs) include:

  • Training
    • ANSI has revised the training requirements for the Use, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of MEWPs.
      • Example: Supervisors overseeing MEW workers must be trained in:
        • Selecting the correct/appropriate MEWP
        • Safe operation of that MEWP
        • Rules/standards for its use
      • Storage of operating manual on the MEWP itself
      • Understanding potential hazards use of the equipment entails and how to properly mitigate them as well as possible
  • Safe Use
    • The new ANSI/SAIA standards address safe use in terms of inspections, risk assessments, and training.
  • Design and Construction
    • New items such as safety devices and equipment changes are addressed in the ANSI/SAIA guidelines.
      • Example: EP railing are now required to be 43.5 inches (previously 39 inches), entrances must have chains closing them, and gates require a toe guard.
      • Example: MEWPs utilized on rough terrain must have solid or filled tires to ensure stability.
      • Example: Inclusion of multiple safety sensors.
  • Accidents/Incidents
    • The recent incident data will be explored to break down accidents by type/classification and industry sector.
  • Proper Selection
    • The different factors for selecting the right MEWP
  • Fall Protection
    • Requirements for safety harnesses or personal fall restraint systems (PFRS) on MEWPs.
  • Pre-Inspection/Inspections
    • The elements of pre-inspection before use and inspections of MEWP and the equipment to be inspected.
  • Rescue Plans
    • Proper rescue plans in the event of an incident.

We will review additional details on the new ANSI/SAIA guidelines, proper selection of MEWPs, Training/retraining requirements, Incident data, Safety and Site Risk Assessment, Toolbox talks, Fall Protection/Fall Arrest, Rescue Plans, Maintenance, Inspection, and Repair, Records retention, and additional MEWP resources.

To learn more details, sign up for our webinar on June 22, 2022 on how these revisions could affect your facility or construction site.

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