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INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS


LIFTING THE STANDARD


LIFT INSPECTION WRITTEN BY SYLVIA ARROYO


F


or Todd Robida, assistant trans- portation director at Avon (Ind.) Community Schools, having his in-ground vehicle lifts inspected


annually is a fairly quick and easy process. He can find a local inspector who knows various brands and models of in-ground lifts. However, he does not know of a local inspector to be familiar with the district’s specific brand of surface-mounted lifts. In this case, the lift manufacturer sends a representative to conduct that inspection. But Robida said from a liability standpoint, and in consideration of everything he hears about unqualified vendors, he would rather have someone with third-party credentials to conduct these inspections. Tis is where the Automotive Lift Institute’s new third-party lift inspector cer- tification program comes in. It is designed to meet the increasing demand for qualified lift inspectors. ALI kicked off its program last October after a two-year pilot test to refine the program. “As OSHA and other health and safety officials have stepped up enforcement of lift safety and inspection standards in recent years, the demand for qualified lift inspectors has grown,” said ALI President


18 School Transportation News May 2013


R.W. “Bob” O’Gorman. “Not unlike many other industries where there are providers of products and services, there are those who are truly trying to do their best and others who simply are not qualified. ALI’s Lift In- spector Certification Program is a voluntary program, but it provide school districts with third-party assurance that an ALI certified lift inspector has been proven competent to thoroughly inspect their lifts.” O’Gorman emphasized that ALI’s in- spector certification program is not a train- ing program. It does not educate candidates on the structural, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic principals incorpo- rated together in the equipment design for a safe lift, but Keith Bunn, one of the pilot program’s factory-designated trainers, said it’s a good companion resource. “It does determine who is educated enough to evaluate whether the condition of that equipment maintains its safe and reli- able use within those principles,” he added. O’Gorman noted that documentation is a


key component of the program. He said lift inspection companies did not have an inde- pendent means to show customers that their inspectors are qualified to perform annual inspections. Now, those who participate and


are certified under the program are assigned a unique ID number that appears on their badge, patch and inspection labels. And to make it easy for people like Robida to find local certified inspectors, lift inspection companies that employ ALI certified lift inspectors will be listed in an online directo- ry scheduled to launch this month at www.autolift.org/certified-inspectors.php.


BUT FIRST, SPECIFY THE GOLD LABEL O’Gorman recommended that school


districts and all commercial operations in North America specify lifts that are certified to the American National Standard ANSI/ALI ALCTV (current edition). Tis industry safety and performance standard addresses both the mechanical and electrical requirements for vehicle lifts. Lifts that meet the standard are identified by ALI’s gold certification label. It also shows com- pliance with requirements in Canada. Why is this so important? “Your safety is riding on it,” O’Gorman


said. “Technicians work under these lifts every day. Te only assurance you have that the lift meets industry safety standards is that label. Why take a chance on a non-cer- tified lift?” 


NATIONAL SAFETY PROGRAM OFFERS TRANSPARENCY, ASSURANCE FOR THIRD-PARTY


PHOTO COURTESY OF SEFAC


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