International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), Cumbria, U.K., has published a U.S. edition of a guidance aimed at avoiding trapping or crushing incidents when aerial work platforms (AWPs) are used in confined overhead spaces.
When used safely, AWPs make work at height more efficient and effective than using traditional methods of access. They significantly reduce the risk of injuries through falling from heights. Unfortunately, there have been a number of fatal accidents involving the use of AWPs in which the operator was crushed against fixtures or other obstacles while working at heights. IPAF believes that such incidents can be prevented by correct planning, preparation, and selection of appropriate machinery to be used correctly.
This guidance was originally produced by a group of British organizations collectively known as the Strategic Forum for Construction, which included IPAF and the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It was prepared by the industry to provide clarity about the safe use of AWPs including planning, equipment selection, training, provision of information, familiarization, safe use, supervision, and rehearsal of rescue procedures, together with monitoring of the whole process.
The document has now been reviewed and made available for American use, in response to requests from American Work Platform Training (AWPT), Schenectady, N.Y., training centers, and IPAF members, including the IPAF Manufacturers’ Technical Committee. There are no substantive changes to the document, and any changes are related to legislation, standards or language.
“This document aims to focus thinking, and actions, with regard to the avoidance of ‘crushing’ accidents on AWPs,” said Kevin O’Shea, chairman of the IPAF North American Regional Council. “It helps to focus collective industry thinking on a strategic preventative approach.”