The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has launched a new course aimed at demonstrating how to perform a thorough site assessment and select the correct mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) to carry out the job in hand.
Brian Parker, IPAF’s head of safety and technical, says, “Selecting a MEWP can be complex and challenging, even for experienced site managers. Being confident and sufficiently knowledgeable to select the correct MEWP for the job directly reduces risk. Correct MEWP selection also improves effectiveness of MEWP operations, reducing unnecessary costs and creating the ability to work to intended timescales."
Based on ongoing analysis of accident and near-miss incidents via IPAF’s global reporting project, IPAF often finds that the underlying causes of accidents can be traced back to poor planning, inadequate risk assessment, and lack of understanding of the demands of the task or attempting the job using an incorrect machine or untrained operators and supervisors.
“Having looked at the data around accidents and near-misses over the past few years, we felt we needed to add a course that would address this specific issue to the globally recognized IPAF training suite," Parker says.
Paul Roddis, IPAF’s training manager, says, “The new course is theory-based with an exam at the end. It is aimed at all those working for rental companies who need to determine which type of MEWP a client should hire from them for the work required, and anyone in any industry who wishes to gain the confidence and knowledge to make their own decisions about the type of MEWP to deploy for any task they are planning.”
All candidates must hold a valid PAL Card certifying successful prior completion of IPAF operator training, IPAF MEWPs for Managers course, or MEWPs for Supervisors qualification. The course duration is half a day and may be taken either at an IPAF-approved training center or online via eLearning, in which candidates work through the modules in their own time, at their own pace, and at a location of their choosing. All successful candidates will receive an IPAF certificate as evidence of training, and there is no expiration date on the certification. The course is offered initially in English, with other languages to follow this year.
“I urge anyone who plans, organizes, or oversees MEWP operations as part of their job to seriously consider undertaking this new course and to get in touch with their nearest IPAF training center to find out more," says Giles Councell, IPAF’s director of operations.
Information provided by IPAF and edited by Alexis Brumm.