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 organisation’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. Tim Whiteman continues in his role as CEO and Managing Director of IPAF.
In his inaugural address, Brad Boehler said: “I would like to thank our outgoing President, Nick Selley, for his tireless dedication to the Federation and his tenure in which he progressed the agendas of ensuring we remain relevant to the industry through ensuring that young people entering our industry have a future, that we seek out opportunities to collaborate with government agencies and other organisations around the globe to further access safety, and that we continue to investigate new digital ways in which we can reach more operators in the future.
“About a decade and a half ago, I began my IPAF journey as an OEM Product Safety Manager, new to the industry, looking to find a way to ensure that everyone who used our equipment was appropriately trained. My original analysis of injuries on MEWPs, very much pointed to the fact that, although powered access is a very safe method of achieving tasks at height, the vast majority of incidents that occur could be prevented by educating operators and site managers more effectively.
“I was also faced with updating our own training programme and ensuring that our training staff was properly accredited. It was at this time I met with Tim Whiteman and Dennis Eckstine about how IPAF could help. I was very happy to get behind the IPAF mandate of promoting the safe and effective use of powered access around the globe.
“A lot has happened in the intervening years. IPAF training centres have trained more than 1.6 million operators and has expanded from an organisation with 98% of its membership in the UK to one where 64.3% of the membership is outside of the UK.
“The safe and effective use of powered access has no borders, and we will continue to ensure that we advocate for the advancement of our industry around the globe, while maintaining our origin and base in the UK.
“To that end, we must continue the great work of those who have served before. We will focus on fulfilling our current three-year plan, with specific energy placed on: Engaging more effectively with our membership; ensuring we develop career paths for young people entering our industry; finding ways to reduce fatal and injury incidents related to MEWPs; continuing to explore and develop our ever-changing digital world relating to Smart PAL Cards, online training and ‘extended reality’ possibilities in future.
“I appreciate the continued support and leadership from the excellent IPAF staff, and more importantly the engaged and interested expertise provided from within our member base. The Federation belongs to its members and can only be as strong and productive as this membership itself allows. I applaud their volunteer efforts on a regular basis, around the globe, and hope that I can be worthy of their trust and support, during my tenure as the President of IPAF.”
At the beginning of the AGM, outgoing IPAF President Nick Selley also gave a short address reflecting on the success IPAF had achieved in meeting many of the objectives he set out in his own inaugural address.
He commented: “Safety remains paramount and all our members need to stand behind these values and adhere to strict safety standards. IPAF continues to work tirelessly in improving standards through its campaigns to reduce accidents across a number of areas, such as technical guidance and safety campaigns.
“IPAF is working closely with the UK Health & Safety Executive and standards and safety bodies in the Middle East, as well as participating in the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of UK MPs looking into falls from height in the workplace.
“I would also like to reference the commitment I made to develop and promote apprenticeships, as I believe we need to do everything possible to encourage young people into the industry and to develop talent. IPAF has made strides in identifying pathways to apprenticeships and qualified service technician status, which define new career paths in our industry.”