The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) has kicked off the world’s first third-party vehicle lift inspector certification program.
Douglas Grunnet, outgoing ALI chairman, reports ALI invested more than $700,000 to develop the program, which includes extensive reference and testing materials.
The ALI says it is crucial for technician safety that all vehicle lifts be inspected at least annually by qualified automotive lift inspectors. This requirement is found in the ANSI National Standard covering vehicle lift operation, inspection, and maintenance (ANSI/ALI ALOIM: 2008), which is included by reference in regulations throughout the United States and Canada. However, until now there have been no independent national vehicle lift inspection licensing or certification programs.
“As OSHA and other health and safety officers have stepped up enforcement of lift safety and inspection standards in recent years, the demand for qualified lift inspectors has grown,” explains R.W. “Bob” O’Gorman, ALI president. “Unfortunately, lift inspection companies haven’t had an independent means to demonstrate to customers that their inspectors are qualified to perform annual lift inspections. The new ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program provides third-party assurance that an ALI Certified Lift Inspector has been proven competent to thoroughly inspect any vehicle lift.”
A pilot group helped refine the program over the last two years. The group includes some 50 subject matter experts, factory-designated trainers and certified lift inspector certification candidates. Several of the pilot program candidates have passed all of the examinations and practical requirements to become the first lift inspectors certified by ALI.
Keith Bunn, one of the pilot program’s factory-designated trainers, summarizes the purpose of the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program. “The ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program is engineered to provide both credibility and integrity in a certified inspector by establishing a solid knowledge base and evaluation standard by which automotive lift inspectors should be qualified,” he explains. “This program will not educate candidates on the structural, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic principles that are incorporated together in equipment design to provide a safe and reliable automotive lift, but it will determine who is educated enough to evaluate whether the condition of that equipment maintains its safe and reliable use within those principles.”
Dale Soos, ALI senior project engineer, says each certified inspector is assigned a unique inspector ID number that appears on his or her badge, patch and inspection labels. All lift inspection companies with ALI Certified Lift Inspectors on staff will be listed in an online directory launching in May 2013 to make it easy for lift owners to find local certified inspectors.
ALI is providing marketing materials to promote the program including those featuring racecar driver Richard Petty who appears with the tagline “Lifting It Right Is Fixing It Right.” The Lift Inspector Certification Program logo also was featured on the No. 43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway earlier this year.
For more information about the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program, including a schedule of upcoming participants’ orientation meetings and exams, visit http://www.autolift.org/certified-inspectors.php.