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Free Book Aims to Boost Lift Safety

Monday, November 22, 2010

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Declaring that “untrained operators should never, ever operate aerials,” the International Powered Access Federation has released a free download that details best practices for aerial work platform equipment.

Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform Equipment is the first access equipment industry initiative to clarify what is required for general training and model-specific familiarization of aerial work platform (AWP) equipment, industry officials say.

Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform EquipmentThe materials are sponsored by IPAF, the American Rental Association (ARA), the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), and the Scaffold Industry Association (SIA).

IPAF managing director Tim Whiteman said he hoped the publication would prevent future deaths like that of Declan Sullivan, a University of Notre Dame student videographer who was killed in October when the mobile hydraulic scissor lift where he was working blew over in a 51 mph wind. Sullivan was videotaping a football practice while a National Weather Service wind advisory was in effect.

‘A Needless Death’

The university and the Indiana Occupational Safety and health Administration are investigating the accident, but the university president has accepted responsibility for the death of Sullivan, 20, a junior from Illinois.

“This is a horrible tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family of the victim,” said Whiteman. “I say victim because this was a needless death that proper training should have prevented.”

“Aerials provide the safest way of doing temporary work at height, but everybody in the industry needs to say loudly and clearly that untrained operators should never, ever operate aerials. Our deepest condolences go to everybody who cared about Declan Sullivan.”

Training, Standards

The publication is designed to assist people in using and operating aerial devices safely and expand risk management knowledge for use of these machines.

Among the topics addressed:

  • Educating the industry on the industry-recognized and industry-supported standards, including the American National Standards Institute/Scaffold Industry Association (ANSI/SIA) A92 Standards and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
  • Presenting best practices and minimum general training guidelines for AWP operators.
  • Emphasizing the differences between general training and familiarization to all parties responsible.
  • Clarifying minimum qualifications of the trainer.

The publication is available free of charge and can be downloaded at or by calling AWPT at (518) 280-2486.

Association Training

AWPT (American Work Platform Training) is the North American subsidiary of IPAF that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment through a training program for platform operators.

IPAF is a not-for-profit members’ organization that represents the interests of manufacturers, distributors, users, rental and training companies, and serves as a forum for all professionals active in the world of powered access.

The AWPT training program meets OSHA requirements and is based on the IPAF program that is certified as conforming to ISO 18878. More than 80,000 operators are trained each year through a worldwide network of over 400 training centers. Successful trainees are awarded the PAL Card (Powered Access Licensed-Registration), the most widely held and recognized proof of training for platform operators.


Tagged categories: Access; Certifications and standards; Health and safety; lift; OSHA; Work platform; Worker training

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