Non-Profit Organization Focuses on Aerial Work Platform Safety

The Institute for Aerial Lift Safety is a recently established non-profit organization dedicated to providing aerial lift safety training. Located near Philadelphia, PA, The Institute is the first non-profit organization in North America that is focused solely on aerial lift safety training.

Board members include Mark Hinkel, Hinkel Equipment Rental Associates; Lynn Ladenes, Excel Rentals, Gary Riley, American Work Platform Training; Michael Kayes, PSE&G; and Bill Mackey, industry consultant.

Through better safety education, The Institute aims to improve workers' hazard awareness, thus increasing overall workplace safety and decreasing the potential for aerial-lift-related incidents resulting in property damage, injury or death. A major benefit of their classification as a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization is that The Institute is able to seek grants from private and governmental sources to increase its educational offerings and provide scholarships to individuals who are unable to afford the comprehensive training programs available.

Following a thorough review of the many training programs currently offered, The Institute selected the programs available from American Work Platform Training (AWPT), the North American training arm of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF). The training programs offered by AWPT are based on the ISO-certified programs developed by IPAF and comply with all ANSI, CSA and OSHA requirements. Courses offered by The Institute include theoretical and practical hands-on training on scissor lifts, boom lifts and truck-mounted aerials. Currently The Institute is the only organization in North America offering AWPT training for truck-mounted aerials. AWPT-certified instructors at The Institute include Katherine Hinkel, Mark Hinkel, Michael Probe and David Heitz. In the future The Institute also plans to deliver familiarization specifically designed by Bronto Skylift for operators of their equipment.

Following the successful completion of an AWPT program, the student is awarded a PAL Card (Powered Access Licensed-Registration) which identifies the student and notes the type(s) of aerial work platforms on which they have been trained. The PAL Card is recognized in many countries throughout the world as proof that the platform operator has been trained in the safe and proper use of a specific type of aerial device. More than 85,000 PAL Cards are issued annually through a worldwide network of over 450 IPAF-approved training centers like The Institute for Aerial Lift Safety.

The Institute's classroom can accommodate up to 12 students at a time and they have an indoor scissor lift demo area and outdoor boom lift and truck-mount demo area so that trainees are able to operate the equipment and receive hands-on training. Institute staff is also able to travel to a client's site to administer the AWPT course with advanced notice. In the past few months The Institute has trained over 35 people from Henkels & McCoy, PPL Electric Utilities, and Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) in the safe use of truck-mounted aerials.

For further information and a schedule of upcoming classes contact Katherine Hinkel at The Institute for Aerial Lift Safety, Phone: (267) 536-9528, Email: TRAIN@AerialLiftSafety.org.

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