ANSI A92 Appeals Shouldn't Derail Progress Towards MEWP Safety

On May 7, ANSI's Board of Standards Review (BSR) will hear two appeals protesting the approval and publication of the new A92 standards for MEWPs, which are set to go into effect in December.

The appeals, which deal specifically with the A92.20 design and A92.22 safety standards and are asking for their withdrawal, are coming before the BSR because they have exhausted their opportunities of previous appeals at the standards developer level, in this case the SAIA, which serves as the secretariat for the A92 standards. According to ANSI, the BSR hears appeals related to claims that there was a lack of due process given to technical concerns or that ANSI procedures and policies were violated. 

The BSR is required to issue a written decision within 15 business days of the hearing, unless an extension on that decision is approved. 

As most people in the access industry know, the new standards took years in development—more than six years and thousands of man-hours to be exact—before they were published this past December, outlining significant changes designed to enhance the design, safe use, and training related to MEWPs. It’s been no secret that they were coming, and yet, feedback among attendees at the 2019 ARA Show in February indicated that many people were still in the dark about the new standards’ ramifications.

Leaving the show, I had the impression, which was shared by representatives of the OEMs and other industry experts I spoke with, that there was a lot of work to be done by the industry in order to be in compliance with the standards by December.

It’s possible that some rental companies and end users may now use these appeals as a reason to delay their efforts until a decision has been reached. However, it is unclear—and unpredictable—what may actually happen following this hearing. Potential outcomes range from dismissal of one or both of the appeals on one end to further delays of the standards as the process is sorted out on the other.

Both sides also have the opportunity for a final appeal of the BSR’s decision to the ANSI Appeals Board, according to Anne Caldas, secretary for the ANSI BSR.

Whatever may happen, I’d encourage those affected by the A92 standards—including OEMs, dealers, distributors, rental companies, employers, MEWP supervisors, MEWP users, and MEWP occupants—to continue to educate yourselves about the standards’ requirements, especially in relation to the A92.24 training standard, which has no appeal against it.

Because as we all know, the days pass far too quickly, and time seems to be the true enemy working against us to accomplish much.

We at Lift and Access will continue to stay on top of this news and provide coverage as the story develops.

About the Author: 
Karen M. Scally

Karen M. Scally

Karen M. Scally is the editor of Lift and Access magazine and its supplements, Telecom & Utility Construction and Components & Consumables. Her experience in B2B journalism includes offering content development and marketing services through Karen M. Scally LLC; leading three media brands as publisher (Site Prep, POB, and GeoDataPoint); and serving as group editor for those three brands plus National Driller. In 2012, she was named one of “15 Under 30” (magazine publishing professionals to watch) by FOLIO: Magazine. Before entering B2B journalism, she worked at The Detroit News and The Dearborn (Michigan) Press & Guide. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bob Jones University, Greenville, S.C.