Train Powered-Access Operators to Be Safe

Heather Burlingame | September 28, 2010

(IPAF)With over 100,000 trained operators worldwide, the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) now provides training classes for the safe operation of powered access equipment in the United States. So far, IPAF has conducted one training session in the U.S. For information on future classes, visit or call 717/762-1911.

The one-day session consists of classroom instruction, followed by a written test, and hands-on instruction, after which the operator must pass a practical test. Instructors teach OSHA and American National Standards Institute requirements, as well.

After successful completion of training and tests, the operator receives a Powered Access Licensed-Registrant card, or PAL card, which is valid for 5 years. In addition to the operator's photo and signature, the PAL card lists the operator's name, the equipment he or she is trained to operate, and the date when retraining is required. The card comes with a logbook for the operator to list previous work experience.

With its training program, IPAF hopes to involve "anyone who is a stakeholder in the safe operation of aerial-work platforms," according to Denny Eckstine of Aerial Work Platform Training, a subsidiary of IPAF. In addition to equipment owners and users, potential participants include insurance companies, unions, manufacturers, safety and rental organizations.