AWP industry launches best practices guide on workplace risk assessment

By Lindsey Anderson12 February 2013

The American Rental Association (ARA), Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and the Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA) have released a best practices guide geared toward workplace risk assessment and aerial work platform equipment selection.

The organizations recognized a need to aid in the identification of hazards, offer guidance for conducting a thorough workplace risk assessment and implementing control measures, as well as assist in the selection of the most appropriate AWP equipment for the work involved. The industry remains committed to putting forth initiatives that increase awareness of best practices, clarify responsibilities and address the safe use of AWP equipment.

The objectives of the document are intended to: Educate the industry on applicable OSHA regulations and the industry-recognized and supported ANSI/SAIA A92 standards; Provide information to assist users and operators in assessing the risk of potential hazards for the work to be done and implementing appropriate control measures to reduce or eliminate such risks; Offer guidance and issues to consider in the selection of the most appropriate AWP equipment to perform the work needed; and encourage the incorporation of best practices into a company’s workplace risk assessment plan.

“The associations continue to work together to promote the safe use of AWP equipment,” said Tony Groat, executive vice president of IPAF’s North American training arm, American Work Platform Training (AWPT). “We created a document that provides simple guidance with four steps that gives us the ability to provide more details than the standard might. It’s simple to follow and well-explained.”

The four steps include: identify the hazards; evaluate the risks, identify who might be harmed and how they might be harmed; define, document and implement control measures; and review and update as necessary.

The “Statement of Best Practices for Workplace Risk Assessment and Aerial work Platform Equipment Selection” comes after previous documents including, “Statement of Best Practices of Personal Fall Protection Systems for Aerial Work Platform Equipment” (2011) and “Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform Equipment” (2010).

The Statement of Best Practices for Workplace Risk Assessment and Aerial Work Platform Equipment Selection document was unveiled by the participating organizations during The Rental Show, the ARA’s convention and trade show, Feb. 11, 2013 at The Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. This document is available as a free download from each participating organizations’ websites.

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