The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is the beating heart of the powered access industry. Since its formation in 1983, this not-for-profit organisation has been at the forefront of worldwide platform safety, from creating recognised training programmes to their involvement with the implementation of legislation.
There are IPAF members in over 65 countries, more than 700 official training centres across the world and this body currently provide programmes to over 150,000 individuals each year. As a result, IPAF has had a major influence on the industry, so much so that its members currently manufacture over 80% of MEWPs sold across the globe.
For professionals working with powered access platforms, IPAF offer a wealth of helpful resources covering a huge range of categories. These are available in different languages with topics that include technical guidance, law and workplace advice.
Andy Access and MEWP Safety
One of IPAF’s most useful resources is their Andy Access campaign. This includes informative posters, Toolbox Talks and films involving two characters, Andy Access and Hugh Hazard. These have been designed to deliver important safety notices surrounding common issues and hazards associated with MEWP and MCWP usage. They are free to download and IPAF encourages all of their members to display these throughout the workplace and make use of them in their daily operations.
Here are some of our favourite Andy Access campaigns.
Here at Horizon Platforms, we provide fully accredited IPAF courses and we’re proud to have a 96% pass rate. However, the operation of powered access platforms can vary across brands and models and while steps have been taken to standardise controls across the industry, this has yet to happen across the board. As such, before operating a new machine, users must familiarise themselves with tools and controls before operating. Failure to do so could place both the operator and those on-site in danger, which may subsequently result in accidents.
Before using a MEWP, it’s vital all users, operators, site managers and the nominated rescue person are familiar with the machine and utilise IPAF’s Andy Access Familiarisation Toolbox Talk. When familiarising, it’s essential to cover the manufacturer’s instructions and user manual, control layout and use, visual checks, any safety functions as well as operation and emergency procedures.
Download the Know Your Machine poster.
When hiring a MEWP from Horizon Platforms, we utilise a thorough three-step process when delivering our machines, inspecting the equipment at every stage. This includes familiarisation with the controls and ensuring our platforms are ready for use after arriving on-site. However, to ensure the safety of personnel, all access platforms need to be inspected before each use, whether this is completed daily or at the beginning of a shift.
Inspections should cover both visual and functional checks that comply with manufacturer guidelines. This includes the engine, tyres and wheels, stabilisers or outriggers, controls and signage. To assist, IPAF have created a free MEWP inspection checklist.
Download the Pre-use Inspection poster.
MEWP Ground Conditions
The stability of a powered access platform is a key component to its safe operation and ground conditions are one of the largest factors to ensure a MEWP is stable. Uneven ground can lead to serious accidents or even loss of life and as such, ground must always be assessed before using, moving or driving a MEWP. This includes all models, regardless of whether they have wheels, outriggers and jacks.
Ground settling during use or travelling from hard to soft surfaces could lead to the platform sitting on unlevel ground, which could lead to instability or even result in overturning. Machine warnings and indicators should be followed when operating an access platform, including adjusting the positioning if required. IPAF have produced assessment guidelines to assist with ground conditions.
Download the Unsafe Ground poster.
In addition to IPAF’s resources, you can find further help and information in our Knowledge Centre.