Standard Fare

CSA Group, an accredited standard development organization (SDO), has put out for public comment its new standards for aerial work platforms, or mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), as they’re called practically everywhere but here in the United States.

The proposed new B354 standards have a very different format than the previous ones, which guided the Canadian aerial industry for years.

Canada’s new standards for MEWPs are divided into: B354.7 design, calculations, safety requirements, and testing methods; B354.8 safety, inspection, maintenance, and operation; and B354.9 operator (driver) training.

They are available for review and comment until Oct. 5, 2015, at Category/010.

If you are in the aerial lift industry in the United States, you may want to look at the new CSA standards even if you do not sell or use the affected kinds of MEWPs in Canada. The CSA standards may give you some insight into what might be coming in the new proposed ANSI A92 standards that are now in the works here in the USA.

To more closely harmonize language among country standards worldwide, standard-development organizations, such as SAIA and CSA, are using the international ISO standards as the guide. Though there will be variation from country to country, using the ISO standards as the foundation will bring more commonality. The new standards will be significantly different than the current ones, so it is important to become familiar with what is coming.

During development, a standard undergoes constant change with additions, deletions, and modifications from its developing subcommittee and main voting committee. Only when the standard is in a final stage of completion may it be reviewed and discussed publicly.

So until we see the draft of the ANSI A92 standards for public comment, no one can say for sure what they’ll look like.

Seeking harmony
That being said, in 2012, the ANSI/SIA A92 main committee approved the development of three new U.S. standards: A92.20 Design; A92.22 Safe Use; and A92.24 Training.

Those three new standards would replace four existing ones: A92.3 Manually Propelled Elevating Aerial Platforms; A92.5 Boom-Supported Elevating Work Platforms; A92.6 Self-Propelled Elevating Work Platforms; and A92.8 Vehicle-Mounted Bridge Inspection Equipment.

The new format develops standards by topic, rather than by product, with an eye toward consistency and standardization on all MEWP products. 

Again, one aim of this approach is to harmonize the revised ANSI/SIA A92 aerial work platform standards with those of ISO and CSA, so that standards are more similar worldwide.

So while one must be cautious about drawing too many parallels, it is reasonable to assume that the new ANSI/SIA A92.20, A92.22, and A92.24 standards for aerial work platforms in the U.S. are likely to bear some resemblance to the Canadian standards CSA B354.7, B354.8, and B354.9, now available for public review.

Again, no one will know for sure what the new ANSI/SIA A92.20, A92.22, and A92.24 standards will look like until they are presented for public comment and review. When that will happen depends on how long the internal review and revision take. 

Until then, taking a look at the new Canadian CSA standards might give us a general idea of what could be coming.

About the Author: 

Mike Larson

Mike Larson has been writing about heavy equipment and construction for more than 25 years. He joined Heartland Communications Group in 2011 as editor of Lift and Access. During his career, he has edited Western Builder and Midwest Construction, and has been a regular contributor to Engineering News-Record and Constructor magazines. Larson also worked in and managed marketing communications for Manitowoc Cranes. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.