The International Powered Access Federation’s 2013 U.S. convention, held October 21 and 22 in Chicago, attracted an estimated 90 access-industry attendees ranging from manufacturers, equipment dealers, and rental companies, to insurers, attorneys, and safety experts.
The 2013 event was the IPAF North American regional group’s third annual convention. It also celebrated IPAF’s 30 years as an international organization serving the powered access industry.
The convention was the first event that involved staff from IPAF’s newly opened U.S. membership office, which began operation just a few weeks before. The new U.S. membership office, located in metropolitan Chicago, was established to help grow IPAF membership in the United States and to help provide full service to U.S. aerial rental companies, end users, and manufacturers. It complements IPAF’s Aerial Work Platform Training subsidiary located in Schenectady, N.Y.
The information-packed convention presented more than a dozen educational sessions that covered diverse topics ranging from how to assess jobsite risks, factors to consider when selecting aerial work platforms, and leveraging technology, to the levels and kinds of training that are most defensible in court, the importance of training operators in language and methods they can understand, and changes in the Dept. of Transportation’s BASIC roadside truck and driver evaluation system. It also included a panel of experts discussing how industry regulation is likely to address exiting from an elevated work platform.
Other sessions saw IPAF director of operations Giles Councell and IPAF North American manager Tony Groat report on IPAF’s activity during the past year, and the organization’s plans and programs for 2014 and beyond. Groat also presented an update on the activities of ANSI’s A92 committee, which develops industry best-practice standards for aerial work platforms.
The North American Regional Council’s newly elected chairperson, Teresa Kee, and newly elected vice chair Jim Dorris, each gave a presentation at the event. Kee, who is director of environmental, health, and safety for NES Rentals, spoke about NES’ success in using eLearning as part of operator training. Dorris, vice president of health, safety, environment, and sustainability for United Rentals, talked about the need for leaders to drive the industry to think in new ways in order to continuously improve safety.
The first day’s sessions were moderated by lifting-industry veteran and Maximum Capacity Media president Guy Ramsey.
Here is a small sampling of the interesting and important information presented:
For more information about IPAF, its activities, and the resources it has available for the AWP industry, visit www.IPAF.org.