The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has experienced another year of global growth, seeing membership rise by 6.6% year-on-year, a 7.8% increase in turnover and global training delivery up by around 4%.
The figures – detailed in IPAF’s Annual Report 2017, published today in eight languages including for the first time in Chinese – show membership increased from 1,240 at the end of 2016 to 1,322 last year, extending IPAF’s footprint into 66 territories worldwide, including five new countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq and Latvia.
Demand for IPAF training soared last year, with 164,662 people successfully completing an IPAF course in 2017 – 3.7% more than the 158,727 that did so in 2016. Significant training growth was experienced in the Gulf States, which was 27.2% up on the previous year (which in turn was 49.3% higher than 2015).
Training demand in Latin America was 21.8% higher, reversing a downward trend seen in previous years, while the UK saw an increase of 5% in the year. During November 2017, IPAF issued the 1.5millionth PAL Card operator licence since the initiative began – at year-end there were almost 725,000 valid PAL Cards in circulation worldwide.
IPAF invested in new staff, better technology and training systems and participated in events in more countries than ever before, including three in mainland China – hosting the IPAF Asia Conference & Showcase in Changsha, attending BICES in Beijing and supporting the inaugural APEX Asia event in Shanghai.
Speaking at today’s IPAF AGM in Miami, Florida, USA, Tim Whiteman, CEO & Managing Director of IPAF, said: “IPAF’s reach and influence has extended further, and we now deliver our training to an ever-increasing number of MEWP and MCWP operators and managers in almost 70 territories worldwide.
“IPAF’s mission since its inception in 1983 has always been safety and the preservation of life. Today, as then, falls from height are the number one workplace killer. There is a safe way to carry out temporary work at height: Properly trained and supervised operators using the correct powered access equipment for the job – that’s the message IPAF is still spreading around the globe, 35 years on.
“We’ve seen in particular an increase in demand for IPAF’s training in the Middle East, Scandinavia and Latin America across 2017. Around the world, IPAF is helping companies become compliant with new regulations and developing innovative ways to deliver training – through Next Generation eLearning and exploring the possibilities offered by virtual reality and platform simulators, for instance.”
Nick Selley, IPAF’s President, commented: “A year on from the objectives I set out at my inauguration, I’m pleased to note positive progress in respect of further initiatives to reduce accidents, promoting apprenticeships, developing closer collaboration with other industry groups, and encouraging more use of digital technology.
“IPAF invested heavily in 2017, strengthening its infrastructure through staff appointments, investment in new IT and communications systems and the ongoing ELEVATE quality improvement initiative, which will further help position IPAF for further growth in the future.”
Tim Whiteman concluded: “It’s difficult to summarise just how busy 2017 was for IPAF, but a glance through our newly published Annual Report certainly gives a flavour; the full version is available now in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese and Spanish, and can be downloaded free from www.ipaf.org.”