In an effort to provide members with efficiencies and decreases in the cost of training, the American Rental Association (ARA) is offering a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) training program.
The program, MEWP Train the Trainer, provides certification to ARA members.
Kevin Gern, ARA vice president of education and risk management, says members will be able to enroll staff into this training program, which will certify that individual as a trainer for MEWPs. This will then allow the trainer to properly train and certify operators of MEWPs.
Gern says operator training is important for anyone that will be operating a MEWP not only because it is required, but also for people to be safe.
“It is dangerous to operate any heavy equipment without some sort of training prior to operation,” Gern says. “For some equipment, this can be done via review of the manufacturer’s operation and safety manual and some amount of practice with the equipment in a hazard free area.”
Gern says for some equipment, it may require actual classroom training, hands-on training and evaluation. MEWPs certification is one that requires formal training, Gern says, adding ARA has made this process easy for ARA members.
“The training was designed to ensure it meets or exceeds all the necessary requirements set forth in the ANSI [American National Standards Institute] A92 standards,” Gern says. “The member will be able to purchase this course and assign it to one of their employees in the RentalU system.”
Gern says initial roll out of the program will only allow for the trainers to train other staff members, but eventually, as ARA finalizes some changes within RentalU, they will be able to offer the certifications to their customers.
“The benefits of members being able to certify their own employees anytime they want increases efficiency and decreases the cost of training. Not to mention, it makes it much easier for them to comply with OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] requirements associated with operating MEWPs. When this training is opened up beyond our members and their staff to the member’s customers, it will have added benefits,” Gern says.
“Not only does this create a revenue stream around certifications, but it is done so with less time invested by the member compared to previous certification methods. Because students will receive the classroom training and written test online via RentalU, the trainer will not have to dedicate time to satisfy this portion of the requirement,” he says.
Gern says all aspects of the training will be documented and retained as a record. The only time commitment for the member is during the hands-on testing portion in which they will have been trained how to properly evaluate each student and follow the ARA hands-on testing form.
“Members have already commented on how this will increase efficiencies of training their staff and the ability to offer operator certifications directly to their customers instead of having to send them to the competition,” Gern says.
“Other added benefits include more knowledgeable customers, which means less abuse to equipment. That should equate to less damage and wear and tear,” Gern says. “This should ultimately result in additional dollars saved via decreased maintenance and repair costs, not to mention that if your now educated customer knows what to do and not do when operating a MEWP, there is less chance that they will be involved in some sort of an incident that results in property damage, injuries or lawsuits.”
John Jeanguenat, president of RentalMax, Carol Stream, Ill., says safety is a top priority at his company and the ARA program will ensure the ability to provide best-in-class training to his team members and customers so they are operating MEWPs safely.
“The Train the Trainer program will give us the flexibility to certify select individuals who can then lead MEWP Operator certification for our team and customers,” Jeanguenat says. “We are hearing more from customers about the need for MEWP certification and training, and we know the opportunity for them to train with our trusted professionals will create value for them and strengthen our relationship.”
The American Rental Association (ARA) Certified Train the Trainer program will be sold at an introductory rate of $199 per seat to ARA members only. The ARA Certified Operator Training program is $49 per seat.
“There have been some state associations looking into holding a Train the Trainer session in conjunction with one of their events. ARA will be offering a discounted Train the Trainer price to the state association since we will be able to certify many trainers all at the same time. Both the ARA Operator Certification and the Trainer Certification will be valid for five years from the date of issuance,” says Kevin Gern, ARA vice president of education and risk management.
Gern adds ARA also expects to see initial interest in the Operator Certification course. If you have interest in getting enrolled in a certification course, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Once a trainer is certified, they can then train operators in conjunction with the online training portion that is offered via RentalU,” Gern says. “Eventually, our system will allow members to sell seats to their customers and provide complete operator training to them. This function of offering the operator training to contractors and customers is forecasted to go live at the end of this year or beginning of 2023.”
How to complete the Train the Trainer program
Step 1: There is an application that you will need to fill out to prove age, identity, experience and sign off on some terms and conditions. Once this application to become a trainer has been received, validated and approved, your request for a seat in the Train the Trainer program will be processed.
Step 2: Students will need to log into RentalU to begin the course. The first part of this training is the “Theory” portion, which is delivered via RentalU. Within this online training, the student will navigate interactive topics comprising of safety, identifying worksite hazards, communication, mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) inspections, proper operation, proper shutdown as well as other related topics. “The online theory portion should take students less than five hours,” says Kevin Gern, American Rental Association (ARA) vice president of education and risk management. “The theory portion of the training is delivered in the same way and with all of the content covered in compliance with ANSI [American National Standards Institute] A92 standards every time.”
Step 3: Once the student completes the self-paced theory portion of the training, they will then be directed to an online exam. The student will need to pass this exam prior to scheduling the hands-on testing portion of the training with the ARA Master Trainer.
Step 4: Once the ARA Master Trainer finalizes the hands-on testing and required paperwork for the student trainer, the ARA education team will process this paperwork to ensure it is complete and correct before issuing and mailing the newly certified MEWP Trainer their certification hard card.