IPAF (the International Powered Access Federation) have designed a number of courses to enable anyone working at a height using any kind of powered lifting equipment to work safely and with an eye to ensuring that accidents are kept to a minimum. The courses are delivered nationwide and successful trainees will be awarded a certificate and a PAL (powered access licence) photo card to be able to assure potential employers that they know how to work safely. Boss Training can deliver these courses either on site or in the classroom, but practical training is always included.
A course for everyone
IPAF is aware of the need for different kinds of training for different jobs and has designed the courses accordingly. There are courses for operators, demonstrators, installers and instructors (in the workplace) but whatever course you do, you will need to make sure that you keep your knowledge updated. Top-up courses are available for many providers and although the PAL comes with more than one year to run, it is not recommended that anyone waits until their card has expired before updating –working at a height and especially on powered access equipment leaves no room for error.
Different equipment means different training
Although coming under the umbrella of IPAF, there are many different kinds of powered access types which may need special training. If you work with a MEWP (Mobile Elevating Work Platform) or a MCWP (Mast Climbing Work Platform) you will have different hazards to consider and so it is important that you choose the right one. Another thing to ensure before booking your course is that you make sure that the instructor is aware of any special working conditions in your workplace. For example, there are extra things you need to know if your work takes place inside because there are crushing injuries every year when someone elevates a platform incorrectly and impacts with the ceiling. You may feel you need a PAL+ course, which addresses higher hazard workplaces.
Even if you have been working on a powered access platform for years, you must still be up to date with all of the legislation that pertains to their use, because the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is constantly adding to its guidelines. Employers obviously have a duty of care to their employees, but colleagues also must work in a way that they are looking after each other, so it is vital to know all about safety at a height, harness donning and checking as well as how to check the condition of any platform you may be using. A course for anyone who might be involved in any aspect of erecting, checking or dismantling of any MEWP is a really important part of any workforce’s training schedule, because the more people who know how things should be done, the less chance there is that anything will be missed by an oversight. An IPAF course has a lot of interesting content, and usually lasts one to two days.