Mississauga, Ontario -- September 23, 2014 -- A critical gap in safety education for the operators of vehicle lifts in Ontario’s automobile repair facilities has now been patched, thanks to a new online training program offered through Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS), in partnership with the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI).
“Members of a number of Ontario’s automobile associations told us about a widespread need and demand for lift training that meets stringent North American standards,” says WSPS’ Norm Kramer, a health and safety consultant with expertise in this area. “Accidents involving hoists are among the top three issues facing this sector. In fact, between 2009 and 2011, there have been seven fatalities in the auto service industry related to lifting and jacking vehicles.”
Current legislation applies to any workplace where automotive lifts are used such as dealerships, collision repair facilities, tow truck operators, general garage and muffler shops, and gas stations. In Ontario alone this group represents close to 15,000 businesses.
“Most are smaller businesses looking for quick, easy, flexible and affordable solutions,” says Kramer.
For technicians who are mostly paid by the job, training must accommodate their schedules and minimize time away from billable work.
WSPS investigated the best options for this type of training program. After comparing all available resources in Canada and south of the border, it was determined that ALI, credentialed as a nationally recognized standards development organization and as an accredited product certification program provider in the United States, offered the only viable option through its new e-learning program, Lifting it Right: 2014 Online Edition.
According to WSPS, a key strength of the program is that it’s built on the only standard recognized by all sectors of the automotive industry across North America: ANSI/ALI ALOIM-2008 - "Standard for Automotive Lifts – Safety Requirements for Operation, Inspection and Maintenance."
The ALI online course guides trainees through a curriculum that covers lift types, the lifting and lowering process and lift maintenance. The interactive elements provide a positive learning environment and reinforce the trainee’s understanding of each topic presented before moving forward.
The product is web-based and manages training records online so there is no need to print and score a written test and then store a certificate. When training compliance needs to be demonstrated, the manager can simply pull up each employee’s record on their computer.
Providing necessary instruction to operators is a legal requirement and virtually identical in all jurisdictions across North America. In Ontario there is a competency requirement in the Industrial Establishments Regulation 851 (2) (a) which states that a lifting device be operated by a competent person. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act “Employers must provide; information, instruction and supervision to ensure their health and safety are protected.”
Legislation and provincial guidelines consistently reference ANSI/ALI ALOIM 2008 Standard for Automotive Lifts – Safety Requirements for Operation, Inspection and Maintenance.