This Year's IPAF Safety Campain Focused on Crushing

The International Powered Access Federation's 2024 Global Safety Campaign, "Crushing Can Kill!" aims to raise awareness and reduce entrapment and crushing incidents involving mobile elevating work platforms.

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According to the statistics over the past decade, the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) reports that there have been 118 fatalities, 16 major injuries, and 5 minor injuries attributed to entrapment incidents involving mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). Over the last three years of fatal accident data, that 68% of fatalities were attributed to 3a mobile vertical machines (vertical lifts). Data from IPAF's global accident portal, incidents have increased from 35 in 2021 to 46 in 2022. 

Addressing this, IPAF has announced that its third annual Global Safety Campaign, "CRUSHING CAN KILL!", is focused on raising awareness of the issues at hand, reducing entrapment and crushing incidents, and emphasizing the importance of training, proper planning, and adhering to protocols while operating, as well as utilizing pedestrian control mode. The campaign was released during IPAF Head of Safety and Technical Brian Parker's tenure. It will be led by Parker and the chair of the IPAF International Safety Committee Alana Paterson (Head of Health, Safety & Environment at Taylor Woodrow). 

Common causes of entrapment include planning, training, complacency, and equipment malfunctions. To mitigate these risks, IPAF advocates for task-specific risk assessments, the correct selection of MEWPs, training of operators, and documented practice/rehearsal of rescue procedures.  

Visit for resources, further definitions of the hazards and risks, and how to work safely with MEWPs.

In hopes of standardizing safety practices and supporting the development of a new ISO standard, the organization developed guidance documents tailored for key nearly every person surrounding the use of a MEWP: planners, employers, managers, supervisors, operators, rescuers, and training bodies. 

IPAF have developed a new Toolbox Talk on the risks including ground control operation with someone on the platform and the use of pedestrian controls. A new "Andy Access" poster will help reinforce the guidance. 

"We're not just launching a Global Safety campaign," says Parker. "We're reaching out to the individuals who stand on the front lines of safety every day—the MEWP operators and rescue personnel. Our aim is to give them the knowledge and tools they need to navigate their work environments safely and confidently. By ensuring that this campaign resonates with those directly using the platform, we're taking an important step toward reducing and preventing entrapment and crushing related incidents."  

As the campaign launches, IPAF urges industry participation, implementation of recommended safety measures, and the reporting of incidents to facilitate ongoing safety improvements.