ARA wins ANSI appeal

Nov. 20, 2020

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) informed the American Rental Association (ARA) last evening that the ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR) has granted ARA’s appeal of the ANSI A92 standards for mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPS). This decision is the result of a series of appeals ARA has mounted against the A92 standards over the past five years.

The central issue of contention is the requirement in the standard that every MEWP have a Manual of Responsibility (MoR) contained in a weatherproof box. The MoR is a document copyrighted by the Scaffolding and Access Industry Association (SAIA) which also is the secretariat of the A92 committee. ANSI’s commercial terms state that a standard cannot contain a requirement or endorsement of a product that is only available from a sole source. The BSR found that the MoR is such a product in two separate rulings and has told SAIA and the A92 committee that they must rectify the violation of ANSI’s commercial terms within 90 days or lose the right to call the A92 standard an ANSI standard.

“This is a tremendous victory for the equipment and event rental industry. ARA began these appeals more than five years ago when the A92 standards were being revised,” said John McClelland, Ph.D., ARA vice president of government affairs and chief economist.

“We contended then that the MoR was not necessary and was only there to make money for the SAIA. We argued that this was not just a conflict of interest, but a violation of ANSI’s commercial terms. We won our initial appeal to ANSI in May 2019, but the remedy proposed by the A92 and SAIA was, in our mind, a continued violation of those same commercial terms. Yesterday evening, the ANSI BSR informed us that they agreed with our positions and granted our appeal. While ARA was the appellant of record, we could not have achieved this victory without the help and support of the rental company members of the A92 committee,” he said.

“There is no evidence that shows the MoR increases safety or has had any positive impact on safety for operators,” said Kevin Gern, ARA director of safety. “Most operators do not even know this document exists or what it is for. In addition, the MoR is just a redesigned copy of the A92 standards themselves and it is the position of many that the MoR be removed in its entirety from the standard,” he said.

The next steps will be for the A92 leadership to propose a remedy that will bring the A92 standards into compliance with ANSI’s commercial terms. Given the 90-day deadline set by the BSR, this process should begin in the near future.

Click here to read the full appeal ruling.

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