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Lift Inspector Certification Program Development Announced By ALI


ALI’s Lift  Inspector Certification Program Aim at Repair Shop Safety 

By Rob Merwin

Cortland,N.Y-Since 1947,the Automotive Lift Institute(ALI), a North  American trade association for automotive lift manufacturers, located in  Cortland, N.Y, has been promoting thre safe design, construction  installation,and use of automotive lifts.Now ,ALI is on the verge of   lunching the lift inspector certification program, expected Auto Liftto begin later this year.

“Those performing periodic lift safety inspections will be exposed to  proper (inspection) methods and learn how to thoroughly inspect an  installed automotive lift,” said Robert O,Gorman, who has been president  of ALI for the past seven years and has 24 years of product safety  experience.

While the program, an ALI initiative, has been in development for several  year, it had not been a high priority  until recently, When the collective  voice of the automotive industry began to clamor for such a program.

“Today ,the increased introduction of nonconforming foreign products into  the North American market,the current practice of installing older –  sometimes ancient – lifts previously removed from service, and the increased activity of regulatory agencies has driven demand,”  O,Goman said.”Ali has been able to respond quickly in their action to  organize during the last 18 moths due to earlier work developing  the program.”

He said he hopes to see the program,s first class of inspectors certified  and graduated by year end,adding that shops committed to an effective  employee safety program could see immediate benefits through morale  and improved shop safety on a daily   basis .

Through his experience with retail and  commercial service bay operation  O,Goman has learned that when an employer strives for the safety and  well-being of employees, staff confidence and optimism tend to increase.

“For those operations willing to sacrifice safety,either because they do  not understand the return on such an investment or because they choose to look at the bottom line  or other competing factors, the value of such a safety initiative may not be realized until  someone  such as a corporate health and safety  officer .a concerned owner/operator,or those in authority begin to  get involved .”O,Gorman said.” Regardless  of what drives yours lift safety  training,inspection,and planned maintenance programs, a proactive  approach to lift safety comes with much less emotion for all involved than  a reactive one at the expense of employees, family, or others in the  service bay at the time of a catastrophic lift-related event.”

When asked about the integrity of inspectors and the quality of  inspections, O,Goman noted that feedback from the field and those within  industry depicts a growing service sector.

“We hear stories that are good and others that are bad -the consensus leads me to believe there is room for  improvement,” he said

Sanctions, however have been levied on some who have made false  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cooperation claims, he said and ALI is aware of  inspectors who have falsely associated themselves with ALI in order to gain credibility.

“We think that for the most part ,there are folks that would really like to do a good job.” O,gorman said .”but they simply do not yet have the depth of  knowledge required to get the job done as thoroughly as needed .

Once its development concludes and the program begins, ALI officials  expect the process to require participants to be prequalified, perform  classroom work, be evaluated through testing, and gain  practical experience in the field before certification.

“It is hoped that everyone will see the benefit of being certified by a legitimate organization  and want to take advantage of the reputation for safety that ALI has  earned over the years,” O, Gorman said “There are those who look on  the regulatory community with contempt, but the responsible -and likely  more proactive – shop owners will embrace this new service.

” manufacturers are beginning to recognize the potential benefits of the lift  Inspector Certification Program, he said,because they would like their  customers to use and care for their product responsibly.Lift inspection by  extension of the lift manufacture,s overall quality mission liability for  everyone,he said .This can be achieved through proper installation,  operation maintenance ,and service. for the same reasons,responsible  inspection and service companies should willingly adopt the program,  O,gorman said

He advised that until the program is fully developed and ALI has a  database of certified automotive lift inspectors, shop owners interested in  having their lifts inspected should contact the lift manufacturer.

Information concerning  the Lift Inspector Certification  Program development, its availability, and inspection scheduling, will be  announced on ALI ,s website, www.autolift.org, in coming months.

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