Executive Summit Facilitates Discussion of AWP Operator Training

Senior management from North American aerial work platform manufacturers and rental companies met Nov. 11 to discuss AWP operator training. Although not sponsored by the International Powered Access Federation, IPAF convened the meeting and acted as secretary for the group.

The meeting was prompted by a keynote address that Ken McDougall, Skyjack group president, delivered at the APEX Conference held Sept. 17 in Maastricht, the Netherlands. During his speech McDougall discussed the need for some form of standardized training for AWP operators and called for action by manufacturers to promote standardized training as the surest way of minimizing the risk of accidents. The purpose of the Nov. 11 meeting was to discuss how operator training standards can be raised and to investigate whether it is possible to agree on minimum standards of operator training.

The meeting allowed participants to review current national and international regulations and standards, hear how other industries address training, and discuss the many various aspects of training. During discussions, the group uncovered multiple issues that need to be analyzed and researched before any recommendations can be made. Included among those issues was a review of the activities of other trade associations, governmental bodies, unions and others involved in AWP operator training and benchmarking best practices.

IPAF agreed to facilitate future meetings and, along with volunteers from the group, work on the research requested. The group agreed to meet again during The Rental Show in March 2009 to review the additional information. No decisions were made at this meeting.