New ANSI standards for aerial work platforms delayed until June 1 as appeals continue

Genie-branded aerial lifts in a row

The effective date for new ANSI standards that would affect aerial work platforms has been delayed again, until June 1, due to appeals, according to the Scaffold and Access Industry Association.

The new standards by the American National Standards Institute will govern most aspects of the manufacturing, operation, ownership and maintenance of “mobile elevating work platforms,” the new name for aerial work platforms, under the standards.

The standards were originally set to take effect in December, but appeals led to a delay until March 1. Those appeals have led to a limited revision of language in the standards that violated ANSI Commercial Terms Policy. However, two objectors to the standards have asked for a hearing because their complaints could not be resolved informally, resulting in a delay until June 1, SAIA says.

“We are in the process of confirming the appeal panel members for these hearings,” SAIA said February 27 in a news release. “Once the hearing takes place, the appeal panel with have 30 days to render their decision.”

For contractors, the new standards require getting MEWP operators trained, as well as developing safe-use programs, among other changes. (Check out Equipment World’s recent series on the new standards for a more in-depth look at what the changes mean for contractors, by clicking here.)

The appeals center on language that violated the ANSI Commercial Terms Policy. The American Rental Association and Tutus Solutions filed the appeals, challenging language that said each MEWP must have a “manual of responsibility” when it is delivered and that the manual be maintained on the machine by its owner.

ARA argued that the manual is copyrighted by SAIA, and that SAIA is its only source. This violates ANSI policies that say its standards can’t endorse products with a sole source. ARA said the manuals cost $8 per copy, and requiring rental companies to buy one for each machine “amounted to a significant burden on the industry.”

Several organizations and aerial lift manufacturers recently called on the standards to be enacted March 1 and not be delayed further. Signers of a petition to enact the standards March 1 included the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the Associated Builders and Contractors, as well as manufacturers Genie and JLG.