Safety Training for Work Platforms

What Type of MEWP Training Do You Need?

By Rick Smith, Senior Director of Global Training, JLG

Construction jobs site safety should always be top of mind and should be made a priority each and every day. Training is one of the best ways to promote safety on your job site. But, many people – and companies – do not understand the training requirements or each individual’s responsibilities for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) outlined in the most current ANSI A92 and CSA B354 standards. 

So, how do you know what type of training (if any) that you need?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The industry standards impact both end users and dealers, and the reality is that the type of training you need will depend on what you are doing on (and around) a job site. And if you have more than one role on site, it is likely you will need more than one type of training. 

Below is an outline of the type of training mandated by the access industry for different roles and responsibilities.

Equipment Operators

A MEWP can only be operated by persons who have been trained, familiarized, and authorized to use the specific machine, before they use it. And, MEWP operators must also be able to prove that they are physically and mentally capable of operating the machine safely. Also, all operators must be able to prove that the training they receive meets the most current published standards. 

What does all of this mean? It means that if you are a MEWP operator, you are responsible for completing training that delivers the skills you need to properly operate the equipment. 

Proper MEWP operator training is comprised of two components: Theory Training, which can be done online or in-person in a classroom setting, and Practical Training, hands-on training and evaluation, per the guidelines stated in the A92.24 Training Standard. It is important to know that both components must be completed in order to fulfill industry training requirements.

There are many reputable industry organizations, as well as equipment manufacturers like JLG, that offer industry-certified training programs to help you meet these obligations. For instance, JLG offers several different, easily accessible training options for you to take advantage of, including classes through JLG University, the company’s training center and proving grounds and AccessReady. 

Once you complete an industry-complaint training course with a JLG qualified training provider, you will receive a certificate of completion. You also have the option to purchase an operator card that becomes yourproof of training from the training entity.

Once you have received Theory and Practical Training on an ANSI classification, you will need to be able to familiarize yourself on specific types of equipment, using the manufacturer’s operation and safety manual. Familiarization must include the following:

  • Identification of the location for the manuals storage
  • Requirement for confirmation that the required manuals specified by the manufacturer are with the MEWP
  • Purpose and function of the controls specific to the model of MEWP to be used
  • Features, limitations and devices
  • Operating characteristics specific to the model of the MEWP

In addition to mandated operator training, the updated ANSI and CSA standards also now require training for anyone who comes in contact with a MEWP on the job site, including Supervisors, Occupants and Maintenance and Repair Personnel. There are also specific training guidelines outlined for Equipment Dealers.

These roles are defined as:

  • Supervisors: People who directly supervise MEWP operators (ANSI only)
  • Occupants: People in the MEWP platform who are not considered operators (ANSI & CSA)
  • Maintenance and Repair Personnel: People servicing MEWPs (CSA only)
  • Equipment Dealers: Includes rental companies (ANSI & CSA)

Supervisors (ANSI Only)

The updated ANSI A92 standards for the access industry state that anyone who directly supervises MEWP operators is considered a “Supervisor” and is required to complete supervisor-specific compliance training. 

According to today’s standards, supervisors must be trained in the following:

  • Proper MEWP selection
  • Rules, regulations and standards that apply to MEWPs, including operation, safe use and training
  • Potential hazards associated with the use of MEWPs and how to protect against them
  • Where manufacturer’s operation manuals should be stored and how they should be used

Supervisor training can be completed online or in-person. JLG, for example, offers online Supervisor Training through our AccessReady website that specifically meets the requirements of the current standards. 

After completing the JLG Supervisor Training Program, you will receive a card that immediately shows employers that you are fully qualified to supervise MEWPs on the job.

Occupants (ANSI and CSA)
It is specifically noted in the current aerial industry standards that MEWP operators must provide instructions and/or make sure all occupants in the machine have a basic level of knowledge to work safely on the MEWP. The standards also state that at least one occupant must be taught how to operate the MEWP controls in case of an emergency where the operator becomes incapacitated. This is important to understand as the standards only give the occupant the authority to operate the MEWP in an emergency.

Occupant training should be conducted on site, in person, by the operator prior to machine use.

If you have any questions about appropriate occupant training, contact the JLG training department any time for assistance.

Maintenance and Repair Personnel (CSA Only)

According to current industry standards, only a qualified person should inspect and maintain Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. This means that to effectively work on, repair and maintain MEWPs, service technicians and other maintenance and repair personnel working on a job site need to have a deep understanding of the construction, operation, and maintenance of this type of equipment – especially as it relates to the new machine design standards. 

If you are someone who might be asked to do service-related tasks on a MEWP, you need to be properly trained. Service training courses can be completed online or in-person and are available through JLG University. Our courses are specially designed to give service technicians, like yourself, the skills and knowledge needed to make informed repairs on the job. 

Successful completion of the JLG Service Training course (passing grade of 80 percent or better) will prepare you to perform prescribed maintenance and warranty repairs on specific JLG equipment.

Equipment Dealers

Under the updated ANSI A92 and CSA B354 standards, dealers – which include rental companies – are now required to offer training and familiarization to anyone who rents, leases, or buys equipment. 

If requested, as an equipment dealer, you must provide training or advise the renter on where to get operator training, as well as offer familiarization to the person designated to receive the MEWP. You must also ensure that your maintenance technicians, as well as your customers’ service techs, are all trained on new features and marking standards for proper MEWP servicing. 

To help you meet these training requirements, the JLG AccessReady Fusion XR training simulator is available. Backed by the knowledge and expertise of JLG training specialists, it enables you to offer your customers a unique training experience that lets trainees practice the skills they need in a virtual environment that provides real-time interaction and true-to-life job site scenarios.

As you can see, there is a significant level of importance associated with training in the current aerial industry standards. This is because proper training significantly reduces job site hazards related to accidents or incompetence. If your job site regularly uses MEWPs, it is crucial that you make the investment in training – not only to be in compliance but also to take advantage of having access to all of the knowledge and expertise available through proven MEWP training, like that offered through JLG.

For more information about training requirements in the ANSI A92 and CSA B354 standards, visit jlg.com

This material appears in the March 2021 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & EngineerConstructionConstruction DigestConstruction NewsConstructioneer,Dixie ContractorMichigan Contractor & BuilderMidwest ContractorNew England ConstructionPacific Builder & EngineerRocky Mountain ConstructionTexas ContractorWestern Builder