US aerials industry drafts aerial platform training guildelines for US

By Murray Pollok23 November 2009

North American platform manufacturers, rental companies and industry associations AEM (Association of Equipment Manufacturers) and the ARA (American Rental Association) are working together to create a new ‘best practice’ guide for aerial work platform training requirements.

The guide is already in draft form and will be the subject of a seminar at the 2010 Rental Show in Orlando, Florida (on Tuesday 9 February), where representatives from Skyjack, JLG, RSC and Trico Lift will provide details of the document.

Brad Boehler, Skyjack's director of product safety, who has been heavily involved in drafting the guidelines, told AI; "The guidelines are an accumulation of facts and explanations on people's responsibilities with respect to operator training and familiarization on the US market.

"Using it could help end users, contractors and rental companies understand what to do for training", said Mr Boehler, who added that "there are rental companies who know the rules and regulations, and some that are not so aware."

Mr Boehler said that ultimately it would be best to have the document also endorsed by other industry bodies such as the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and its US subsidiary, AWPT, and the Scaffold Industry Association (SIA), all of which are involved in operator training and the promotion of the safe use of aerial platforms. (Mr Boehler is chairman of IPAF's North American Council, although he worked on the new guidelines in his capacity as a Skyjack director.)

The guidelines will not have any legal status in themselves, but will reflect the current ANSI and OSHA requirements governing aerial platform use. "The guidelines will be as effective as the identity of the organizations behind it", said Mr Boehler.

Meanwhile, Mr Boehler repeated his views that a proposed ANSI A10.29 Construction Committee document on the safe use of aerial platforms was unnecessary and potentially confusing for equipment users.

Mr Boehler was involved in the early stages of the drafting of the document, but told AI; "My name is on the standard. My name won't be on it if it's published in its current form...We have been encouraging the [A10.29] committee to join the A92 committee and make there voice known there, as opposed to creating their own document."

See www.TheRentalShow.com for details of the seminar taking place on Tuesday 9 February.

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