The UK Contractors Group (UKCG) has made PAL+ advanced operator training compulsory for net riggers and steel erectors working on UKCG sites from Oct. 31, 2013. The training mandate is part of the UKCG’s policy to address the risk of entrapment when mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) are used.
The UKCG statement issued at the end of June said: “From 31 October 2013 the UKCG standard for MEWP operations shall be that ‘All net riggers and steel erectors, along with their associated trades e.g. painters and welders working as part of erection and netting activities, operating mobile or static boom and scissor lifts, shall hold IPAF PAL+ or CPCS Competent Operator certification.'"
The UKCG statement also pointed to available technical guidance to avoid the risk of entrapment when using MEWPs on site. This includes the Strategic Forum for Construction Plant Safety Group’s Best Practice Guidance for MEWPs: Avoiding Trapping/Crushing Injuries to People in the Platform, and IPAF’s Guidance on Selection of Anti-Entrapment Devices for MEWPs. Both documents are available for download at the Publications section of www.ipaf.org
The UKCG is consulting with a view to extending the requirement for IPAF PAL+ or CPCS Competent operator certification progressively to other trades. PAL+ is an additional one day of category-specific MEWP training for operators working in higher risk or challenging environments. More details on PAL+ are at www.ipaf.org/palplus