IPAF pays tribute to 'force for good' Alastair Robertson

Alastair Robertson at the Middle East Convention, Dubai 2018

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has paid tribute to Alastair Robertson – owner of Universal Equipment in Glenn Ellyn, Chicago, US, an active and long-serving member of the organisation and a “force for good practice and safety” in the worldwide powered access industry – who has died aged 69 after a short illness.

Tim Whiteman, CEO & MD of IPAF, said: “Many people who knew Alastair will have reacted as I did to this news, with real shock and sadness.

“Alastair was a tireless force for good practice and safety in our industry, a great supporter of IPAF, a keen participant at industry events around the globe and a committed and valuable member of IPAF’s North American Regional Council.

“All those who knew and worked with him are indebted to him for his unfailing enthusiasm and considerable industry knowledge. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered as one of the undoubted good guys.  

“Most importantly, we have lost a great and dear friend. Rest in peace Alastair. All of us at IPAF wish to send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time.”

Alastair Robertson at the IPAF Innovate 2018 event in Texas, US
Alastair Robertson at the IPAF Innovate 2018 event in Houston, Texas, US

Ebbe Christensen, Chair of IPAF’s IPAF North American Regional Council, echoed the sentiments: “Alastair was an institution and legend in our industry with an unmatched network and knowledge, both nationally and internationally. If you didn't know Alastair, then you didn't know the industry.

“He was one of the first industry experts to engage with IPAF in North America and a strong advocate for the organization. His loyal support was not just limited to being a council member for many years, he could be found at all the national and international events and summits around the globe.

“And ‘around the globe’ would sum up Alastair’s life and legacy. His friendship with industry people spanned over all continents, and he was truly a universal person that reflected his company’s name!

“I had the great privilege of calling Alastair a friend for 20 years and, like so many others, I got started in this business on good advice and referrals from Alastair. Alastair will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him; I will personally miss his great humor, laughter and smile.

“Alastair's approach to life was grand, friendly, enthusiastic and he was always a true gentleman. RIP, my friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Tony Groat, IPAF’s North America Regional Manager, worked closely with Alastair over many years to help promote the safety agenda in the industry. He said: “Alastair was special in many ways, as he was first and foremost a great family man as exemplified with his business being him and his sons. 

“His Facebook page was always updated with news about his family, or with great pictures of him and his grandkids. For me, he was a great IPAF ambassador always building and growing relationships – his IPAF family. He will be deeply missed both personally and professionally by so many.”

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  • IPAF is launching a major update of its globally recognized MEWPs for Managers course for those planning, supervising and managing work at height using powered access, and for the first time the course is also available as standalone eLearning.

  • A new presidential team has been confirmed for the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), with Brad Boehler of Skyjack being elected to the role at the organization’s AGM in Dubai, UAE, on 6 March 2019. Other changes to the IPAF Presidential team saw Norty Turner of United Rentals elected as IPAF Deputy President and Karin Nars of Dinolift confirmed as Vice President. Nick Selley of AFI-Uplift completed his full two-year term as President by handing the chain of office to Brad Boehler at the AGM, assuming the ex officio role of Immediate Past President. Meanwhile, Andy Studdert of Cramo, the 2015-2017 IPAF President, maintains his seat on the IPAF Board as a Director.