US aerials industry launches AWP training guidelines

By Lindsey Anderson12 February 2010

A new ‘best practice’ guide on training and familiarization for aerial work platforms in the US and been launched following a collabaration between trade associations, manufacturers and rental companies.

The new ‘Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform Equipment', launched during the Rental Show in Orlando, FL, is a joint effort between the American Rental Association (ARA), the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and the Scaffold Industry Association (SIA).

Other participants included rental companies Sunbelt Rentals, Trico Lift and NES Rentals and manufacturers Skyjack, JLG Industries, Genie and Haulotte Group/Bil-Jax.

The 20-page document, which is free to download, clarifies existing US regulations on general training and familiarization for aerial platforms, giving equipment owners, end users and rental companies clear guidance on best practice in the industry.

The launch of the document is significant since it is the first time that so many associations and equipment users have cooperated on a single best practice guide.

Tim Whiteman, managing director of IPAF, said; "This is an extremely important document and I believe it will save lives".

Although the guide is primarily intended for use in the US, Mr Whiteman told Access International that it would have global influence because many of the world's developing access markets look to the US to take a lead on training issues.

The best practice guide includes the following:

• Details of American National Standards Institute/Scaffold Industry Association (ANSI/SIA) A92 Standards and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

• Best practices and minimum general training guidelines for AWP operators.

• Emphasizing the differences between general training and familiarization to all parties responsible.

• Clarifying minimum qualifications of the trainer.

"It's not a road map of training, but it is a guideline," said Darrin Drollinger, AEM vice president of statistics, technical and safety.

Because rental houses own most aerials, the committee stated depots must enforce training, follow manufacturers recommendations, ensure a consistent approach to using equipment and follow a recognized training program.

Teresa Kee, director, environmental, health and safety for NES Rentals, said; "We were pleased to be invited to participate in this safety consortium to document what we agreed were necessary industry guidelines by which all AWP training and familiarization efforts could be measured."

The guidelines can be downloaded from IPAF's website at: www.ipaf.org

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