IPAF Holding First North American Convention

October 14, 2011

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is holding its first ever convention in North America, Nov. 1-2 at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare in Chicago. The theme of the inaugural event is “Powered Access: Recognition and Avoidance of Hazards.”


Fall protection and recognizing and avoiding hazards when using access equipment will be among the topics covered. Speakers at the convention include industry and government experts. Among those presenting are:

Chris Pan, research safety engineer in the Division of Safety Research at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), who will present research on fatal accidents involving aerial work platforms (AWPs) and draw conclusions on how hazards can be recognized and prevented.

Brad Boehler, president of Skyjack, will provide an overview of industry guidance and best practice.

John Newquist, assistant regional administrator, Illinois OSHA, will make a presentation on AWP safety.

Paul Penzkover, Mortenson Construction, will discuss specific training obligations and illustrate common unsafe practices to watch out for.

Kevin Groman, senior vice-president of RSC Equipment Rentals, will explain how sustainability issues impact the planet and a company’s bottom line.

Lindsey Anderson, editor of Access, Lift & Handlers, will provide an in-depth analysis of the United States access market compared with the rest of the world and discuss where training falls into the picture.

Gary Riley of American Work Platform Training (AWPT) will demonstrate the challenge of imparting knowledge, not just information.

Tony Groat of IPAF North America will review the state of the rental market, using findings from the IPAF rental reports.

Kevin O’Shea of Mastclimbers will provide insight into the deployment of mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs) and the regulations and industry guidance surrounding their use.

Romina Vanzi of IPAF Latin America will discuss the significant opportunities in Latin America and the challenges of this fast-growing market.


Chris Wraith, IPAF technical officer, will provide guidelines on how to perform risk assessments and develop method statements when using aerial lifts.

In addition to these presentations, there will also be a panel discussion where registrants can ask specific questions of industry and government experts; these include Jeff Carter, deputy commissioner of the Indiana OSHA; Brad Boehler, president of Skyjack; Brian Gawlick of Mortenson Construction; Mike Drew of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 and others.

The two-day event opens at noon with lunch on Nov. 1, and includes a networking reception followed by a dinner sponsored by Skyjack that same evening; the convention ends at noon on Nov. 2.

The registration fee is $120 per delegate for IPAF members and $160 per delegate for non-members. The fee includes lunch, reception and dinner on day one and all breaks and breakfast on day two.