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New IPAF Campaign Encourages Use of Spreader Plates

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has launched a new safety campaign that calls for AWP users to properly assess ground conditions and correctly use stabilizers, outriggers, and spreader plates. IPAF’s “Spread the load!” campaign delivers a simple message:

Spreader plates should always be used with boom-type aerial work platforms (AWPs) when they’re fully supported on outriggers. Spreader plates should be used with all other AWPs that have outriggers unless risk assessment shows they are not needed.

The campaign started as an initiative of the IPAF UK Hire Committee’s Spreader Plates Sub-Group. Several campaign tools have been developed in multiple languages to spread the message. They include leaflets, posters, stickers, and a video. These resources can be viewed and downloaded at

“AWPs are generally very safe and stable,” noted IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “However, incorrect set-up can cause instability and lead to overturning. This is often the result of inadequate ground assessment, poor selection of spreader plates, or incorrect positioning of outriggers. The ‘Spread the load!’ campaign sets out to give clear and practical guidance on when and how to use spreader plates,” said Whiteman.


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