History of Standards

The ANSI A92 series of standards, since the earliest years of the existence of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, have been the industry standards applicable to what is known in the industry as scissor lifts, self-propelled boom lifts, manually propelled personnel lifts and vehicle mounted under-bridge inspection and maintenance devices. There are other types of equipment covered by the A92 series but they do not concern us here.

In 1996 a group of interested parties from the United States led an international group to create an International standard for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (Hereafter MEWP). The basis for the development of the standards were the ANSI standards along with applicable European Norms. Eventually that effort resulted in the publication of International Standards Organization (hereafter ISO) standards relating to MEWPS. Because the international standards must be applicable to all participating countries, the standards are generalized. The net result was that the international standards removed the US assignment of responsibilities.

In addition, the ISO standard is organized to focus on function rather than being specific to individual products like scissor lifts, boom lifts and so forth. Thus ISO created standards for design calculations, safety requirements and test methods; a separate standard for safe use and another standard for training.

The American National Standards Institute (hereafter ANSI) is the umbrella organization that oversees the development of US standards like the ANSI/SAIA A92 standards and also serves as the secretariat for the international standards (ISO) for MEWPs.

ANSI is the US member of ISO and encourages the various US standards bodies to either adopt applicable ISO standards or to take the ISO standards into account when developing new standards. The A92 Committee undertook to do just that. In 2010, the ANSI/SAIA began work on a new suite of standards to eventually take the place of the standards for scissor lifts, self-propelled boom lifts, manually propelled personnel lifts and vehicle mounted under-bridge inspections and maintenance devices. The ISO standards were the base documents and the sub-committees went through those standards line by line and compared them with existing standards.

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