Prevention System Updates

New online automotive lift training program helps close a critical gap in safety education

Release Date:  Sep 23, 2014

A critical gap in safety education for the operators of vehicle lifts in Ontario’s automobile repair shops 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,” said 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, auto body repair shops, tow truck operators, general garage and muffler shops, and gas stations. In Ontario 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.

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 on-line 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.

This convenient web-based product, which sells for $29 (USD), 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.

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) is a leader in providing impactful risk management solutions that drive lasting business success for our customers.  WSPS offers unparalleled health & safety expertise, insight and solutions for creating healthy work environments where employees thrive and businesses prosper.

A dynamic $43-million organization servicing 154,000 member firms, WSPS is primarily focused on the agricultural, industrial/manufacturing and service sectors.  A key player in the Ontario occupational health & safety system, WSPS brings together community and business leaders to influence positive change to create a safer and more profitable Ontario.

For more information, view the online edition.