Rental stores that rent aerial work platform (AWP) equipment are expected to be experts on the machines, which means customers and employees have likely asked the following questions:
- What is required for someone to be considered trained or qualified to operate AWP equipment?
- What is required regarding personal fall protection for certain AWP applications?
- What issues need to be considered in the selection of fall protection? What options are available?
To help rental stores answer these and other questions, the American Rental Association (ARA) worked with peer associations to develop two best practices documents — Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform Equipment and the Statement of Best Practices of Personal Fall Protection Systems for Aerial Work Platform Equipment. Both were created by an industry-wide initiative. Those who contributed to this effort include the:
- Associated Equipment Distributors (AED)
- Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
- International Powered Access Federation (IPAF)
- Scaffold Industry Association (SIA)
“These guides have been very beneficial,” says Jeff Stachowiak, director of safety training at Sunbelt Rentals in Fort Mill, S.C. “I’ve received a lot of good comments from customers who have had questions about training and fall protection — customers who just didn’t understand the requirements. I’ve been able to quickly clear up confusion by referring to these documents.”
Stachowiak appreciates how these guides “clarify the issues of training and fall protection and give people a better perspective of why training is required, why a harness and lanyard are required, what kind to use and why you need to have a plan for that,” he says.
According to Carla Brozick, CAE, ARA’s senior director of education and training, “these documents were created for this exact purpose.”
The objectives of the Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform Equipment are to:
- Educate the industry on the industry-recognized-and-supported standards, including the American National Standards Institute/Scaffold Industry Association (ANSI/SIA) A92 Standards and the OSHA regulations.
- Present best practices and minimum general training guidelines for AWP operators.
- Emphasize the differences between general training and familiarization to all parties responsible.
- Clarify minimum qualifications of the trainer.
Earlier this year at The Rental Show 2011 in Las Vegas, the Statement of Best Practices of Personal Fall Protection Systems for Aerial Work Platform Equipment was unveiled. The objectives of this guide are to:
- Educate the industry on applicable OSHA regulations and the industry-recognized and supported American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards.
- Provide information to assist users and operators during their selection process to identify the most appropriate personal fall protection (PFP) system for their job functions while operating AWP equipment.
- Inform the user and operator how to recognize and guard against the potential fall hazards associated with the use of AWP equipment.
- Encourage the incorporation of best practices for PFP with AWP equipment into a company’s fall protection plans.
The guides are available for download from the “Shop ARA” section of ARA’s website, ARArental.org, and are free for ARA members or for a charge for nonmembers. For more information, call ARA Member Services at 800-334-2177.