China Gets Serious about AWP Safety
A recent newsletter from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) noted that the organization is working with manufacturers of aerial work platforms (AWP) to help develop a new safety standard aiming to increase AWP safety in China.
AEM’s technical and safety manager for China, Amy Wang, said, “By increasing awareness of aerial work platform safety, the Chinese government and AWP manufacturers are helping to encourage advanced safety practices and safe equipment usage in China’s aerial work industry.” Wang is coordinating the manufacturers that are helping develop the standard and the Chinese National Elevating Work Platform Technical Committee, which will ultimately decide the content of the finished standard and enact it.
Since January, the task force of manufacturers has shared with the Chinese committee information about regional regulatory requirements; the newest standards under development in the United States and the European Union, as well as other international regulations; and international industry best practices for AWP safety. The Chinese government committee plans to review a working draft of the new standard in November.
When enacted, the standard will become mandatory throughout China. It is great to see that although China is in the very early stages of using aerial lifts, the country’s government is focused on AWP safety to protect operators and put best practices in place. It is certainly better for China to take control early and guide the future, rather than to have to impose equipment standardization and safe operating practices later on.
Kudos to the Chinese Technical Committee for setting the framework for aerial work platform design and use early on, and for seeking advice from AWP industry experts who have already wrestled with the same issues in other parts of the world.