First U.S. All IPAF-Trained Site

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The Robert A. Young building in St. Louis, Mo., is the first construction site in the United States that has been designated 100 percent American Work Platform Training-(AWPT) trained. AWPT is the North American subsidiary of International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) that manages the training program in the North American market. AWPT-trained employees from access specialists Goedecke planned the 20-story building project. AWPT-trained installers erected the mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs). An AWPT-certified instructor, Bobby Reese from Mastclimbers LLC, trained 56 employees of contractor Superior Waterproofing as the first MCWP operators to hold the Powered Access Licensed-Registration (PAL Card).

The building was originally built in 1931 as a railroad warehouse and it is being restored and repaired. It was acquired by the federal government in 1941 and is now eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. It houses many government departments, including the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

MCWP operator training is new for the industry and is composed of modules that cover regulations, safe use, daily and weekly inspections, practical use, and understanding of operating instructions and load charts. After being trained, an operator needs to be familiarized on the site-specific MCWP that he or she is going to use.

“The new operator card will make the MCWP industry in the US a lot safer in all aspects,” said Kevin O’Shea of Mastclimbers LLC, who is also chairman of IPAF’s International Mast Climbing Work Platform Committee. O’Shea was instrumental in starting up the new MCWP operator course.

MCWP training covers the categories of Operator, Demonstrator, Installer, Advanced Installer and Instructor. Successful completion of training leads to the award of the PAL card as proof of training. The PAL card is recognized by the Scaffold Industry Association (SIA), which also offers the MCWP training program through SIA accredited training institutes.