Skyjack Partners with Lift and Access to Promote Operator Safety Training

photo of scissor lift
photo of Tim and Brad with jacket
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Though aerial work platforms (AWPs) have managed to reduce the risk that comes with working at heights, improper safety training, or lack of it, can still lead to serious accidents.

The best way to maximize operator safety when working with AWPs is by receiving  training and certification on how to use the equipment in the safest way possible. Safety training for AWP operators will not only increase efficiency and minimize risk, but could also save lives.   

This is why this year, as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations and to support the adoption of safe aerial work platform use, Skyjack is collaborating with the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Lift and Access magazine to promote the PAL PLEDGE program. The PAL PLEDGE is an initiative that recognizes the first 200 operators to pledge to undertake training and qualify for an IPAF issued Powered Access License (PAL) Card. A package valued at up to $10,000.

"At Lift and Access we care for the safety of operators and the correct usage of construction equipment, which is why we decided to support this initiative. We believe that training is the best way to reduce the risk of accidents because it provides operators with the necessary information to work with the machinery in the safest way possible," said Mike Larson, editor, Lift and Access.

From January to December 2015, Skyjack is offering operators in North America limited edition custom jackets for making the pledge and successfully completing the IPAF safety training course within 2015.

The stylish lightweight jacket features a detachable hood with adjustable shock cord, open bottom mesh lining, adjustable cuffs and reverse coil zipper pockets. It is water resistant and features stylish embroidery that identifies the wearer as a PAL-qualified operator.

The PAL PLEDGE program wants to promote the safe use of aerial work platforms by improving the adoption of recognized training. It is open to those that are not yet qualified but have a desire to achieve the qualification. Current PAL Card holders or individuals undergoing PAL card re-certification do not qualify for the program.

What is the PAL Card?

Established in 1983, IPAF is a not-for-profit organization representing manufacturers, distributors, rental companies, training companies, and equipment users. IPAF’s core aim is to promote the safe and effective use of powered access worldwide. Today it has more than 1,100 members in 52 countries.

One of IPAF’s leading initiatives has been the introduction of the PAL card, which is recognized worldwide across industries as proof of platform operator training to the highest standard. The card is issued to platform operators who successfully complete a training course at an IPAF-approved training center.

The IPAF training program was developed by leading industry professionals and is certified by TÜV as conforming to the international standard ISO 18878 mobile elevating work platforms – Operator (driver) training. More than 100,000 PAL Cards are issued each year through more than 600 IPAF-approved training centers around the world.

The PAL Card is valid for five years. It shows the date on which the holder was assessed and the expiry date by which re-training would be needed. It shows the types of equipment that the holder has been trained to operate. It shows the level to which the holder has been trained, for example operator, demonstrator, or instructor. To prevent misuse, it has security features including a holographic logo and the holder’s photograph and signature.

IPAF believes that operators that need to work at height and use access equipment should receive basic training. What’s more, it offers operators a set of new skills. While platforms are designed to be easy to use and offer a safe way to work at height, with basic training operators will be able to use the equipment more effectively and safely.

For employers, the PAL card ensures that:

  • Legal requirements have been fulfilled.
  • Employees have received adequate training in the use of work equipment as required by most legislation, health and safety obligations, accident prevention and work at height regulations.
  • Employees are trained to the highest standards ensuring operators work more efficiently and productively.

The typical training syllabus includes:

  • AWP product categories
  • Structural parts and AWP selection
  • Regulation and standards
  • Pre-start inspections
  • General Training vs familiarization
  • Safe operating methods and hazards – Risk assessment
  • Dos and Don’ts
  • Practical Test

Once operators make the pledge, they will have 12 months to complete the PAL course. There are more than 30 IPAF Training approved organizations in North America and the average course cost is $150. Operators interested in making the pledge should register on: www.palpledge.skyjack.com. The site also offers training and other support material from IPAF and Skyjack.

PAL PLEDGE rules

  • Open to participants in North America only (United States and Canada).
  • Participation and qualification for the limited edition custom jacket is dependent upon registering on Skyjack’s PAL PLEDGE website: www.palpledge.skyjack.com.
  • Registration on Skyjack’s PAL PLEDGE website must precede the actual PAL card training course.
  • Individuals undergoing PAL card re-certifications do not qualify.
  • Participants agree to Skyjack sharing submitted information with IPAF for verification and qualification confirmation.
  • Qualification confirmation is at the discretion of Skyjack and IPAF.
  • All pledges and subsequent courses must be taken in 2015.