Safety is always job one on every work site. Most accidents or equipment damage happens when an operator overlooks important safety precautions or doesn’t fully understand how to operate equipment. According to industry regulations and standards, only qualified persons can operate mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs). In addition, the MEWP operator must also provide instruction or otherwise ensure that all occupants in the platform have a basic level of knowledge to work safely on the MEWP.
To provide the type of training needed to comply with industry regulations and standards, Terex Aerial Work Platforms (AWP) developed a two-part program, Genie® Lift Pro™ training that delivers a standardized training package for MEWPs (aerials or telehandlers) that will help operators stay safe and fleet owners reduce repair costs.
Training is Required by Law
Training is not voluntary — it is required by law. To be in compliance, only properly trained personnel should be allowed to operate an aerial platform. This means that everyone who will operate an aerial platform must be:
Trained according to the OSHA, ANSI, CSA and ITSDF guidelines before being assigned to operate the aerial platform
Familiarized with the aerial platform to be operated
Knows the operating and maintenance manuals supplied by the manufacturer are stored in the weather resistant compartment and is familiar with the operating and safety manuals
Understands all control functions, placards and warnings
Is aware of and understands all safety devices specific to the model aerial platform being used
Made aware of responsibilities of operators
Evaluated and retrained, if necessary
To help meet the increasing demand for trained MEWP operators, Terex Aerial Work Platforms (AWP) works with organizations like the electrical training ALLIANCE (www.electricalalliance.org) to incorporate Genie Lift Pro training courses into curriculum.
The electrical training ALLIANCE is a joint training program between the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). It offers curriculum to educate apprentices and journeymen on the specialties of the trade, as well as equipping these individuals with the skills and knowledge to be the best craftsperson.
Through the electrical training ALLIANCE, NECA and IBEW offer hundreds of local apprenticeship programs across the United States. These apprenticeship programs target a variety of electrical vocations, including residential wiremen, outside electrical workers, tree trimmers, inside wiremen and installer technicians. Some of these apprenticeship programs conduct introductory training courses that introduce individuals to the electrical industry. Topics covered during the introductory training include the basics of equipment orientation, rigging, compliance, electrical theory and climbing wood and\or steel structures.
“In the past, our training session for substation technicians had equipment training on insulated aerial devices, such as bucket trucks,” says Danny Doss, Training Director for ALBAT. “Apprentices and journeyman are also tasked with operating non-insulated aerial devices, and proper training is crucial for safe, productive operation.
“When apprentices and journeyman are working in substations, they often will use a non-insulated Aerial lift, because they are easy to maneuver and offer a lot of flexibility to get to and from tasks that need to be completed in the air,” continues Doss.
To help accommodate additional training into the ALBAT programs’ introductory training course, the electrical training ALLIANCE looked to MEWP manufacturers like Genie for help. Learning about the Genie Lift Pro training course, which satisfies the general training requirements defined by OSHA, ANSI, CSA and ITSDF, together they brought in the Genie team to conduct a Train the Trainer course for ALBATs’ instructors and other apprenticeship programs.
Genie Lift Pro Train the Trainer courses are designed to qualify operators in the safe use of MEWPs. The program is designed to provide additional training techniques and information to trainers, giving them the ability to deliver a successful Genie operator training course to other operators. The course is delivered using curriculum that combines both formal and hands-on training, including (but not limited to):
The purpose and use of operator’s, owner’s and service manuals, as well as of placards and decals
A pre-start inspection
Responsibilities of operating an aerial platform
Factors affecting stability
Safety rules and regulations
Authorization to operate
Operator warnings and instructions
Actual operation of the aerial platform. Trainees operate the MEWP for a sufficient period of time to demonstrate proficiency in the actual operation of the equipment.
“We have had a lot of interest within our apprenticeship programs to include this type of training,” says Virgil Melton, Curriculum Specialist for the electrical training ALLIANCE. “We looked to Genie to not only provide us with training on how to operate these types of lifts but also what apprentices and journeymen need to consider when operating these lifts in electrical applications. For example, it is important that each operator understands the direct-to-earth path with electricity and how non-insulated lifts can be used in these situations.”
Getting the Program Established
Working with Doss and Melton, Genie conducted an on-site Train the Trainer course at ALBAT’s facility in Medway, Ohio, to ensure that future trainings through the electrical training ALLIANCE could be done quickly, easily and on-demand.
“By working with the ALBAT program and electrical training ALLIANCE, Genie has delivered a way to train operators of non-insulated aerial devices in the industry,” says Melton.
“The Genie Lift Pro operator training and Train the Trainer course were the best classes we’ve had; we gained so much excellent, useful information in a short amount of time,” Melton adds.
“We are already incorporating it into our substation apprenticeship program and plan to deploy it into our other programs in the future,” finishes Doss.
At Genie, safety in the industry is top priority. The first step in ensuring this is to make people aware how important training is to the wellbeing of the operator and the productivity of the machine. Genie strives to provide the education, support and solutions apprentices and journeyman need to safely and productively operate non-insulated aerial devices on jobsites.