Information gathered in a worldwide project to report accidents and nearmisses has informed a significant update to a comprehensive training course on how to load and unload MEWPs and other plant equipment safely from trucks or trailers.

The latest analysis of global data gathered by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF ) via www.ipaf.org/accident shows most accidents, resulting in lost-time injuries and even on occasion fatalities, during delivery of MEWPs occur during loading or unloading. As a result, IPAF decided to overhaul its existing Load/Unload course, with new training materials unveiled to instructors in a Professional Development Seminar on 11 November. 

Peter Douglas, IPAF CEO & MD, comments: “Last year IPAF invested time and resources into updating its ongoing worldwide accident reporting and analysis project, leading to a new comprehensive industry-facing Global MEWP Safety Report. Earlier this year, we updated and relaunched our Incident Reporting Portal to gather even more granular data about not just accidents but also near-misses. 

“Statistically, the most likely people to be involved in a MEWP-related incident are those loading and unloading, and these operatives are critical to our industry. Analysing data has allowed the updated training course to directly address those issues that affect people loading or unloading, and provide knowledge and recommended protocols to help prevent accidents before they happen.

“This is exactly the reason why we place so much emphasis on our accident reporting project – only through good data and exhaustive analysis of accidents and near-misses can we identify high-risk situations, uncover underlying causes of why operators get into difficulty and address these through our training programme, industry technical guidance, Andy Access safety campaigns and Toolbox Talks series.” 

Editor’s Note: George Bernard Shaw once said, “England and America are two countries separated by the same language.” While that is true in many ways, a British acronym has crossed the Atlantic to land on safety directors’ desks – MEWP – which stands for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, formerly known as Aerial Work Platforms (AWPs). To top this British invasion, a UK based safety organisation has just issued new safety guidelines for loading and unloading this ubiquitous equipment. The following is the “English” spelling press release on the subject.

Paul Roddis, IPAF Training Manager, says: “The IPAF Load/Unload course has been reviewed off the back of the accident statistics showing that the people most likely to be harmed in a MEWPrelated incident are delivery drivers. We believed that there was more the course could offer in terms of equipping and protecting operatives loading and unloading MEWPs, and we wanted to do more to help protect them. This updated training course does exactly that. 

“In terms of visual enhancements, the new course incorporates a new IPAF fleet of delivery vehicles starting with a 4×4 with trailer, a 3.5t flat-bed van, a 7.5t beaver-tail, as well as a 26t rigid and a 40t articulated HGV trailer.”

All information covered in the course content conforms to EN 12195 Loadrestraining on-road vehicles — Safety and references both the IPAF best practice guidance Load and Unload and Loading And Unloading MEWPs on the Public Highway.

Roddis adds: “This is an excellent new course to complement those that IPAF Training Centres already offer. It is highly recommended learning for anyone operating, hiring, maintaining, delivering or managing MEWPs; there is a great deal in the training course that is applicable to a range of plant machines, including dumpers, diggers, telehandlers, rollers or forklifts.To find out more about IPAF’s globally recognised training programme or find an IPAF Training Centre near you, please see www.ipaf.org/training. It appears that our English cousins supplied some useful information, although as Shaw implied, you may need an interpreter to follow along with the new training approaches