Major construction projects are driving accelerated uptake of Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) operator training in countries such as Denmark, where international contractors are insisting that all powered access users hold certification from an accredited International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) training centre.
IPAF member firm Riwal opened its first training centre near Odense, Denmark, at the end of 2017 in response to demand for IPAF-trained operators to work on a major data centre project for which lead contractor MACE Group requires all powered access workers to hold a PAL Card or PAL+ qualification.
Kent Boström, IPAF’s Representative in the Nordic & Baltic region, comments: “Mace won the contract to construct a data centre here in Denmark. It will be another two years before completion, and Mace is also planning to be involved in several other major construction projects in the Nordic & Baltic region and across Europe. `
“Mace Group standards stipulate that all operators of MEWPs on its sites must hold a PAL Card, so in response to this IPAF member firm Riwal opened the first approved IPAF training centre in Denmark at the end of 2017, and has trained a total of 588 operators, with 467 of those PAL cards being issued since the turn of the year. On the back of this burgeoning demand for IPAF’s PAL Card across the Nordic region, further IPAF training centres are set to open in Denmark and Finland during autumn 2018.
“Mace Group is proud of the work it is doing to boost training and safety through its partnership with Riwal and IPAF, and hosted a promotional day at its Odense site with a virtual reality (VR) MEWP simulator for staff on the site to try out.”
Iain Gardner, Senior Health, Safety & Wellbeing Manager and Campus HS&W Lead at Mace Group, comments: “At Mace Group it is very important that we can share the high health and safety standards that we have set over the years with other companies and partners in different countries. The IPAF PAL Card and MEWPs for Managers training standard has been developed from lessons learned on other projects.
“Our collaboration with IPAF and Riwal has been very successful and it is very pleasing to see the successful adoption of the standard. ‘Safety First. No Compromise’ is one of Mace’s core values and along with the ‘Four Steps to Safety’ Mace group strives to ensure every person on our projects goes home safe and well every day.
“At Mace we are committed to upholding the highest standards of Health, Safety and Wellbeing across our projects and offering innovative solutions to deliver service excellence to our clients. If we can encourage other countries to learn from our experiences to raise the standard of health & safety it will be excellent.”
Anyone who has views or ideas to share about the benefits of VR & MEWP simulators in terms of training and safety are invited to contribute to IPAF’s ongoing worldwide consultation at www.ipaf.org/VRconsultation; there is also a video about the Mace-Riwal-IPAF collaboration, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Image: Facebook Data Center, Odense, Denmark