The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and the Scaffold and Access Industry Association (SAIA) signed an agreement to work together to promote safety and training in powered access throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
The agreement will also focus on joint promotion of standards, including the updated A92 Suite of Standards that went into effect in the U.S. in June 2020, as well as sharing knowledge and disseminating best practices, informing and influencing national safety and regulatory bodies with a unified voice, and promoting the need for effective powered access operator and supervisor training.
The SAIA recognizes the IPAF PAL Card as proof of appropriate operator training for users of MEWPs, mast-climbing work platforms (MCWPs), as well as lifts and hoists. IPAF-approved training centers and SAIA-accredited training institutes (ATIs) will offer IPAF’s globally recognized training — available in multiple languages to suit local demand.
IPAF’s MEWP operator and supervisor theory training are available as either instructor-led or 100 percent online eLearning courses — a valuable option to suit candidates and training centers alike while the risks from COVID-19 remain. MEWP operators must additionally complete hands-on practical training and assessment, though this can take place outdoors to help reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
Tony Groat, IPAF’s North America manager, said, “Over the years, IPAF and the SAIA have collaborated and worked together very productively many times. This new formal agreement cements the commitment of both associations to leverage their collective effort and expertise for the benefit of all their members and the wider industry.
“By working closely together under this formal agreement, we hope to eliminate duplication of efforts or mixing of messages, and to maximize the strengths of both our associations to intensify and unify focus on the key priorities of our industry and our joint mission to promote the safe and effective use of powered access equipment.”
Michael Paladino, SAIA president, commented, “While SAIA has made a significant impact in the scaffold industry in the past 50 years, we recognize that there is still a great deal to be done in the access industry. By partnering with IPAF, continuing SAIA’s role as the Standard Developing Organization (SDO) for the ASC A92 Committee, and strengthening our relationship with OSHA as Ambassadors, we will help bridge the gap with the access industry.”
Peter Douglas, IPAF CEO and MD, added, “Since taking up post at the end of 2019, it has been one of my key objectives for IPAF to collaborate more closely with like-minded bodies and organizations around the world to further the aims of work at height safety, where fundamental goals and messaging overlap.
“Never has it been more important to foster collaborative working than as the world emerges from this pandemic; I am very pleased that this agreement with the SAIA, in addition to similar agreements over the past 18 months with partner organizations in Turkey, Spain, India and elsewhere, will help IPAF to achieve its overarching aims of promoting safety best practice and quality training worldwide.”