Several hundred people attended the Safe Access, Fall Protection & Training in Long Beach, Calif., July 20, which stimulated discussion, debate and increased awareness of the importance of safety in aerial equipment. The conference was organized by Maximum Capacity Media, based in Fort Dodge, Iowa, publishers of Lift and Access magazine.
The conference examined OSHA regulations and ANSI standards and how better training in the regulations and standards can reduce accidents. The conference was also designed to stimulate intra-industry cooperation.
A wide range of speakers addressed a variety of issues. Rental industry veteran Tony Groat of Aerial Work Platform Training analyzed recent changes to the self-propelled elevation platform standards. He emphasized the importance of always providing training on delivery and illustrated specific provisions of the most recent ANSI standards.
Joe Feldstein, manager of technical services for MSA Fall Protection discussed the importance of fall-arrest standards and presented an update of the International Safety Equipment Association’s activities and discussion of the proposed design and test standards.
A panel of industry experts including representatives of JLG, RSC Rental, SkyJack, MSA and Elk River Inc. discussed fall-protection requirements and industry practices and what can be done to increase industry awareness of using fall protection and safe jobsite practices.
JLG’s Dave Baxter discussed elevating personnel with telehandlers, providing an overview of standards of requirements. He presented a clarification of applicable standards for the use of work platforms on telehandlers and the use of fall-protection equipment.
Kelly Morstad of 3D Interactive discussed and demonstrated the use of realistic gaming technology in a presentation of a new interactive operator training system.
Mark Monson of M2 Safety Solutions demonstrated the consequences of a lack of training. He talked about the tendency for training to cover fall protection but avoid covering electrocutions, tip-overs and crashes. Monson showed how the lack of emphasis on training by dealers and rental companies is problematic in the industry, as is a lack of standardization of controls.
A panel including Jeff Stachowiak of Sunbelt Rentals, Rob Vetter of IVES Training Group, Groat, Howard Kaplan of Southwest Industrial Rigging, Luke Webber of Genie, Jim Smith of JLG and Lance Sullivan of Sunstate Equipment discussed how to deliver effective operator training programs. Stachowiak pointed out that the highest risk is often presented by secondary users — people who borrow the machine from the contracted rental customer.
Brad Boehler of SkyJack and Gary Riley of Midwest Aerials & Equipment presented on how equipment selection — providing the right piece of equipment based on the requirements of a particular job — is an important step in the safe-operation process.
Organizers plan for the SAF-T Conference to be an annual event.