A new course aimed at demonstrating how to perform a thorough site assessment and select the correct mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) to carry out the job in hand has been launched by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).
Based on ongoing analysis of accident and near-miss incidents via IPAF’s global reporting project (www.IPAFaccidentreporting.org), IPAF analysis often finds that the underlying causes can be traced back to poor planning, inadequate risk assessment, and incomplete understanding of the technical and safety demands of the task, or attempting the job using an incorrect machine or untrained operators and supervisors.
Brian Parker, IPAF’s Head of Safety & Technical, says: “Selecting a MEWP can be complex and challenging, even for experienced site managers. Being confident and sufficiently knowledgeable to select the correct MEWP for the job directly reduces risk. Correct MEWP selection also improves the effectiveness of MEWP operations, reducing unnecessary costs and creating the ability to work to intended timescales.
“Having looked at the data around accidents and near-misses over the past few years, we felt we needed to add a course that would address this specific issue to the globally recognised IPAF training suite. We are very pleased with the course that our training experts and dedicated members have put together.”
Paul Roddis, IPAF’s Training Manager, comments: “The new course is theory-based with an exam at the end. It is aimed at all those working for rental companies who need to determine which type of MEWP a client should hire from them for the work required, and anyone in any industry who wishes to gain the confidence and knowledge to make their own decisions about the type of MEWP to deploy for any task they are planning.”
All candidates must hold a valid PAL Card certifying successful prior completion of IPAF operator training, IPAF MEWPs for Managers course or MEWPs Supervisor qualification. The course duration is half a day, and may be taken either at an IPAF-approved Training Centre or online via eLearning – candidates work through the modules in their own time, at their own pace, at a location of their choosing. All successful candidates will receive an IPAF certificate as evidence of training, and there is no expiration date on the certification. The course is offered initially in English, with other languages to follow this year.
Giles Councell, IPAF’s Director of Operations, adds: “We’d like to thank all those who have helped by giving their valued input into the creation of this important new addition to IPAF’s training suite; particularly members of IPAF’s Training Committee, who have offered their time and expertise even during the ongoing pandemic to ensure IPAF has been able to meet its intended deadlines for rolling this new course out as well as achieve other key objectives.
“I urge anyone who plans, organises or oversees MEWP operations as part of their job to seriously consider undertaking this new course, and to get in touch with their nearest IPAF Training Centre to find out more.”
● To find more information about the full range IPAF’s training options and about upcoming changes to the way PAL Cards and other certification will be issued and renewed via the new ePAL app for mobile devices, see www.ipaf.org/training; use the online directory or searchable map function on the same area of the IPAF website to find your nearest IPAF-approved Training Centre.