Safety and training were the dominant themes at the IPAF Summit held in the U.S. for the first time on March 26, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Several speakers called for pressing changes in the U.S. powered access industry to keep it safe and efficient.
Jordan Barab, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, shared OSHA statistics on falls from height. Falls are the leading cause of deaths in construction, making up about one-third of all construction fatalities in the US. Of the 255 deaths from falls in construction in the US in 2011, 90 were from roofs, 68 from ladders and 37 from scaffolds, reported Barab.
He also highlighted the need to target “vulnerable workers” with limited English proficiency and commended IPAF’s recent launch of an eLearning module as part of the AWPT operator training program and IPAF’s commitment to providing training and safety material in other languages, among them Spanish.
Extending the challenge to more than 350 industry professionals in the audience, Barab said: “You in the room are part of the solution. By being here, you are committing to safety.”
In the keynote speech “Safety from the top – keep it personal”, Ron DeFeo, chairman & CEO of Terex, gave insight into the company’s zero tolerance policy and focus on getting employees home safely. Taking up the challenge for rental businesses to adopt similar policies, Michael Kneeland, president of United Rentals, spoke on “the rental company of the future”. “I am a big supporter of IPAF,” said Kneeland. “It challenges us and brings fresh ideas.”
Andy Studdert, chairman & CEO of NES Rentals, presented the new eLearning module that NES has developed with IPAF as part of the AWPT operator training program. He noted that of the more than 460,000 PAL cards worldwide, very few were issued in the U.S. He challenged the US aerial industry to work towards a target of 30,000 new PAL Cards in 2013, using the new eLearning module.
Other speakers included Tim Hatch, vice-president of global engineering at JLG, who examined the impact of Tier 4 engines, and IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman, who presented preliminary findings from the IPAF Powered Access Rental Market Reports and, for the first time ever, gave an IPAF estimate of the worldwide rental fleet size: around 950,000 units.
In another presentation, Sérgio Kariya, managing director of the rental division of Mills Estruturas e Serviços de Engenharia SA in Brazil, featured a graph by mining company Vale, which revealed a direct link between IPAF aerial operator training and reduced accidents.
Presentations from the IPAF Summit 2013 are available at the Resources section of www.ipaf.org
The next IPAF Summit will be held together with the International Awards for Powered Access (IAPAs) April 3, 2014 in Windsor, near London in the UK. More event details will be available at www.iapa-summit.info