Is Powered Access a Risky Business?
The rental market for MEWP hire in the UK is a diverse one, with a mixture of large nationals, independent operators, and brokers. All these companies should be responsible for providing a secure, responsible and good quality service to customers across the country. A focus on safety when operating at height, both of the operators and of the goods and equipment being transported is absolutely critical.
Ben Hirst, CEO of Horizon Platforms says, “There has to be a recognition that powered access rental providers are responsible for taking real people, any companies most valuable asset, to extreme heights, and therefore the stakeholders involved are exposed to a very real risk.”
So how can customers seek assurance when sourcing MEWPs for their projects? How can they be certain that the right training has been delivered, and that the equipment despatched will be up to standard? What scope for independent auditing exists in the powered access hire sector, and what proof of compliance exists?
What is IPAF Rental+?
The best accreditation that exists today for resolving these questions is provided by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) in the form of their IPAF Rental+ quality standard. This mark provides customers with the confidence that a supplier is fully legally compliant and has been independently audited to prove it. That, and meeting rigorous standards of training, equipment care and customer satisfaction. In the UK, achieving the IPAF Rental+ quality mark indicates that the company possesses ISO9001:2015 quality systems, and achieves PAS91:2013 prequalification standards.
IPAF’s Rental+ scheme is accredited by Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), providing automatic SSIP accreditation for all member companies in the UK possessing the mark. The result is that customers who select an IPAF Rental+ compliant supplier will automatically satisfy most UK tender pre-qualification requirements relating to powered access.
What does IPAF Rental+ mean for customers?
Ben Hirst says, “For customers looking to actively manage and reduce their risk profiles on projects, seeking out an IPAF Rental+ supplier is a great solution. In terms of the peace of mind offered, there isn’t a better indicator of quality in our industry.”
The process of being independently audited is a crucial one for the legitimacy of the quality mark. Being audited on an annual basis has proven effective at driving up standards. That, and providing customers with the confidence that this industry-specific mark is only possessed by those rental companies who reach the required level.
Hirst adds, “For our business, IPAF Rental+ and the process of gaining the accreditation is embedded into our culture of continuous improvement. It’s almost like a business MOT for us, and the support we get from IPAF and the confidence it provides our customers makes the expense of participation well worth it.”
For more information on IPAF Rental+ please visit the IPAF Rental+ Homepage.
Horizon Platforms have been accredited with IPAF Rental+ since 2009. For more information on IPAF Rental+ at Horizon Platforms, please visit our accreditations and certifications page.