Familiarization vs. Certified Training

The new ANSI standards are now here (effective 06/2020) and All Access Equipment (AAE) is ready to help our clients navigate themselves into compliance. The goal of the ANSI standards is to prevent accidents to persons and property. The specific standards we are mentioning are A92.22 Safe Use of Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) and A92.24 Training Requirements for the Use, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs). There are specific responsibilities in regard to Training/Certification and Familiarization outlined in the standards, and the lion’s share of these responsibilities fall on the USER. Users are defined as an entity that has care, custody, and control of the MEWP.  That definition encompasses all of our clients at AAE so it will be helpful to know where User responsibilities begin and how AAE can partner with clients to meet these new standards. AAE has a history of dedication and partnership with customers to ensure the safe operation of lifts and offers Familiarization and/or Training/Certification at the time of delivery.


There are 2 separate and distinct service products that AAE offers our clients:  Familiarization and/or Training/Certification.

Familiarization: This is a no-cost service at the time of delivery that includes an information model specific to your unit.  It meets the minimum requirement for custody transfer.  At this time, AAE is offering a live tutorial for clients at the time of delivery only also called User Orientation.  It covers Familiarization, but also includes information that AAE would like clients to know about lift operation from the depth of experience of our team and partners.  User Orientation allows operators to experience the lift, establish proper practices and ask any questions they may have with the benefit of an AAE Expert User.  Additional User Orientation sessions that include Familiarization may be scheduled for a fee, after delivery.


Quoting from the Standard: 


6.2.5 Familiarization  Prior to the users authorization of an operator to use a specific model of MEWP, the user shall ensure the operator is familiarized on the following and as specified by the manufacturer:

  1. Identification of the location for the manual storage;

  2. Requirement for confirmation that the required manual specified by the manufacturer are with the MEWP.

  3. Purpose and Function of the controls specific to the model of MEWP to be used

  4. Features, limitations and devices; and 

  5. Operating characteristics specific to the model of the MEWP.


Training/Certification: (with IPAF). This is a paid/ per user service that includes, online training curriculum, and an in person practical exam.  Operators are tested and upon successful passing, and will receive a PAL card, an internationally recognized certification for their participation in the program. All Users are required to be Certified. Certification from AAE or IPAF is not required, other local options may be available.

User responsibilities include:

  1. Site Risk Assessments must be performed for every job where the MEWP is used. It’s to identify potential hazards specific to the work site.  Not all Hazards are visible. Some Hazards will change at the job site during the course of the job, and any changes should be addressed as the work progresses. This is the foundation for working safely and will determine the next steps required. A short term job, less than 1 day,  is not an excuse for skipping a Site Risk Assessment. Operators must be informed.

  2. Choosing the right MEWP. Many of our clients have more than 1 Lift, but many do not, there is always a choice. Factors include site access as well as desired height. Does the selected lift physically fit into the desired work zone? Will the ground support the lift? Using an undersized lift at the worksite poses serious risks to the lift, and to operators who are trying to compensate for being under the desired height.  

  3. Worksite Protection. Access to the work zone with a MEWP must be limited to those performing the work. Protect your MEWP and operators from traffic; and protect the traffic, vehicular and pedestrian, from your worksite.

  4. MEWP maintenance must be up to date in accordance with the manufacturer’s standards. Are the inspection decals up to date? AAE authorized dealers provide this service to our clients. It is up to the User and operator to perform a Pre-Work Inspection of the MEWP before each use. Examples of checklists are included in The Owner’s Manual. Downloaded versions of specific Owner’s Manuals are offered upon request.

  5. Only trained personnel are allowed to operate and/or occupy the MEWP. (Quoted directly from the standard). Users are responsible for having operators qualified and trained, and must keep documentation. AAE can partner with clients to qualify operators if requested. Contact AAE Training Team for a quote. Unauthorized use must be prevented by the user. Removing the Key meets this provision.

  6. Familiarization of authorized MEWP operators with specific MEWP used.  (Quoted directly from the standard). Users are required to ensure that operators are familiarized. AAE offers Familiarization at the time custody is transferred from AAE to the User. Anticipating work stops due to using new equipment is reasonable while operators gain confidence with new equipment.  Our delivery process and cuts down on that break in period.  AAE Familiarization includes, 1.  Lift Orientation.   2. Safe Tracking.  3. Safe Stabilizing.    4. Safe Aerial Practice.  5.  Safe Emergency Descent.   

  7. MEWP use must be monitored by a supervisor ensuring standards are in compliance. This is a change. All MEWPs, when in use, should have competent ground personnel who are familiar with an emergency descent strategy. The ANSI standard labels this as a “Rescue Plan”. AAE provides an Emergency Safe Descent Strategy in the Owner’s Manual which should be included along with 911 and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), as the centerpiece of any plan.

  8. An Owner’s Manual must be stored on every MEWP in a weatherproof location. This is not a change, but it is a very visible measurable part of any pre-work inspection.