Take Action to Prevent Repeat of Notre Dame Tragedy

November 5, 2010

Following the recent fatality at the University of Notre Dame where a student operating a scissor lift was killed when it was blown over by wind gusts, Tim Whiteman, Managing Director of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), said: “This is a horrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the family of the victim. I say victim because this was a needless death that proper training should have prevented. Aerials provide the safest way of doing temporary work at height, but everybody in the industry needs to say loudly and clearly that untrained operators should never, ever operate aerials. Our deepest condolences go to everybody who cared about Declan Sullivan.”

To assist people in using and operating aerial devices safely and expand risk management knowledge for use of these machines, the American Rental Association (ARA), the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and the Scaffold Industry Association (SIA) have jointly released a Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform Equipment. This first-of-its-kind industry initiative clarifies what is required for general training and model-specific familiarization of aerial work platform (AWP) equipment.

It was launched in February 2010 and addresses:

• Educating the industry on the industry-recognized-and-supported standards, including the American National Standards Institute/Scaffold Industry Association (ANSI/SIA) A92 Standards and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

• Presenting best practices and minimum general training guidelines for AWP operators.

• Emphasizing the differences between general training and familiarization to all parties responsible.

• Clarifying minimum qualifications of the trainer.

This publication is available free of charge and can be downloaded at www.awpt.org or by calling AWPT at (518) 280-2486. AWPT (American Work Platform Training) is the North American subsidiary of IPAF that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment through a training program for platform operators. The AWPT training program meets OSHA requirements and is based on the IPAF program that is certified as conforming to ISO 18878. More than 80,000 operators are trained each year through a worldwide network of over 400 training centers. Successful trainees are awarded the PAL Card (Powered Access Licensed-Registration), the most widely held and recognized proof of training for platform operators.