IPAF Adds New Board Members

New IPAF Board Members

Two new members have been added to the board of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF): Ben Hirst and Julie Houston Smyth.

Both new members join Riwal CEO Pedro Torres, who was seconded this summer. Smyth is a director of LOLEX Ltd, and Hirst is the managing director of Horizon Platforms. The additions mean the number of people around the Federation’s boardroom table now stands at 10.

Norty Turner, IPAF’s president, says: “With almost 1,500 members around the world now, IPAF is truly an international organization. We warmly welcome Ben, Julie, and Pedro to the board, as each brings valuable knowledge and experience that will greatly benefit the Federation as we plot our course for the next several years and beyond.

“All of them are powered access specialists, with their own unique expertise of the sector garnered over many years working in the industry. Each has been involved with IPAF, dedicating their time and expertise to the cause for many years now, and we will benefit even further from their acumen as they will be part of setting the direction and strategy of IPAF as board members.”

Hirst is the founder and managing director of Horizon Platforms, based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and has been actively involved with the UK Country Council (UKCC), of which he is currently vice chair, and various working groups for a number of years.

In that time, he helped IPAF develop its robust standards of safety and technical guidance, and assisted in the implementation of the UKCC’s decision to mandate IPAF Rental+ minimum standards for all UK hirer members between 2017 and September this year.

He says: “I’ve been involved with IPAF for more than a decade now; it’s an incredibly worthwhile organization helping make our industry safer and ensuring people go home safely at the end of the day after operating MEWPs or MCWPs to work at height. When the chance came to step up and become a member of the IPAF Board, it was a real honor.

"I look forward to working with my energetic and enthusiastic colleagues to further the Federation’s aims and ambitions, especially in providing insight into the challenges faced by SME providers of access services.”

Smyth has 25 years of industry experience in powered access as a director of Highway Plant Co. Ltd. in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Earlier this year, she embarked on a new venture, LOLEX Ltd., a specialist independent service, maintenance, and consultancy firm.

As well as involvement in IPAF UK Country Council and the International Council for the past nine years, Smyth has also been the chair of the IPAF Irish Council. She steered it from its original formation of a few members to a fully elected and constituted 12-person body representing all members in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

She says: “It is a real honor to have been offered this opportunity. I’m excited to be joining the board of the Federation and look forward to making a difference in the future of the wider powered access industry. I hope that every IPAF member – particularly the smaller companies – will feel they are represented on this board.”

Torres, who took over for Norty Turner at Riwal after the latter returned to the U.S. to take up his current position at United Rentals, was seconded to the IPAF board this summer at a meeting in Toronto, and will be confirmed along with the other appointees at the next IPAF AGM.

He says: “Stepping up to the board of IPAF was a privilege; our newly reconstituted board is as representative of the wider powered access industry worldwide as we could possibly hope – with an immense amount of knowledge, expertise, and passion for safety in powered access.”

For more information about IPAF, visit www.ipaf.org.