Training and Occupant Knowledge

Recently released changes to the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) A92, will continue to be one of the biggest safety discussions for the aerial industry throughout 2019. The newly released compliance and training standards have a firm deadline set for December this year, and there is much to learn if you’re just catching up. 

The new A92 standards are a suite of standards, intended to work together to cover all types of Mobile Elevating Working Platforms (MEWPs). A92.20 focuses on machine design and testing; A92.22 focuses on Safe Use; A92.24 focuses on training. 

The A92 standards are intensely focused on machine compliance, safe use, and operator training, for good and obvious reasons, but there is a new component written into the new standards that may not have been discussed broadly yet—Occupant Knowledge. For the first time, occupants in MEWPs will be expected to have baseline knowledge of the safe use of these machines and operation of controls in the event of emergency. 

The inclusion of this new requirement for occupants represents a significant change that companies like JLG fully support.


Before discussing the details of these changes, it’s important to brush up on some baseline understanding of the ANSI A92 suite of standards.

For A92.20, the industry is facing changes to load sensing, as machines will now be expected to actively monitor loads and interrupt normal operations when load levels exceed the approved limits. Tilt sensing requirements have also been added to ensure that machines operating on slopes will have alarms and cutouts that will disable drive functions when limits are surpassed. New wind force requirements, entrance gate standards, solid or foam-filled tire availability, and new height requirements for platform railings are among the additional enhancements to the standards. A thorough review of A92.20 is recommended for a complete description of the changes.

For A92.22 and A92.24, dealers, owners, and users must train and familiarize all employees on the operation of a MEWP, which has always been required. Dealers will be required to offer training or be able to explain where the operator can get training, and be able to provide familiarization upon request to anyone buying, renting, or leasing a MEWP. Maintenance and repair personnel must be properly trained to inspect and maintain MEWPs, and maintenance training must be delivered by a qualified person and offered in a language suitable for the trainee. Again, a thorough review of the finer details of A92.22 and A92.24 should be conducted for a comprehensive understanding.


As mentioned earlier, Occupant Knowledge is a new requirement in ANSI A92.24. MEWP operators are responsible for providing instruction or ensuring that MEWP occupants have the required knowledge. The following is the approved ANSI language related to Occupant Knowledge:

The MEWP operator shall provide instruction or otherwise ensure all occupants have a basic level of knowledge to work safely on the MEWP. This instruction should also provide at least one of the occupants with the knowledge to operate the controls in an emergency where the operator cannot. This instruction does not give the occupant authorization to operate the controls at any time except in an emergency.

  • The knowledge that every occupant must have shall include as a minimum the following:
  • The requirement to use fall protection and the location of fall protection anchors
  • Factors including how their actions could affect stability
  • Safe use of MEWP accessories they are assigned to use
  • Site-specific work procedures the occupants must follow related to the operation of the MEWP
  • Hazards related to the task at hand and their avoidance, to include any applicable site risk assessment

General knowledge of the intended purpose and function of MEWP controls and safety-related items specified by the manufacturer, including emergency shut-down and lowering procedures, to the extent required to lower the MEWP safely to the ground/stowed position (required to be conveyed to at least one other occupant)

Manufacturer’s warnings and instructions

From a training perspective, these concepts have been discussed and relayed for many years as part of comprehensive training programs. By ANSI calling out Occupant Knowledge in the approved changes, it reinforces additional layers of safety that access industry professionals have been pursuing for many years.

These amendments to the standards represent a positive shift in our industry by focusing on the safety of everyone working in and around MEWPs.


Now that we know the deadline for compliance to these new standards, it’s time to take measures to educate owners and operators of MEWP’s, so that they can stay ahead of the changes. 

Several of the ANSI topics mentioned here have been covered extensively in trade publications, trainings, industry events, and through hundreds of industry communications. In the access training world, it’s second nature to be fully aware of these important safety standards. If you haven’t begun to sharpen your knowledge on the impending changes to the standards, there is no reason to wait.

At JLG, we continually focus on the safety of our operations and the equipment we manufacture. This supports our core belief that everyone deserves to leave work each day in the same condition in which they arrive. When it comes to JLG products, the emphasis on safety begins at the design engineering phase and transcends through our manufacturing, testing, and training to ensure the highest of safety standards are maintained.

About the author:

Rick Smith is a JLG senior director, Global Product Training. If you have questions about A92.20 standards as they relate to training, email, or call 717.485.2907 if you’d like to talk about training opportunities.

Modern Contractor Solutions, March 2019
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