28 aerial platform fatalities in first half of 2013 says IPAF

By Murray Pollok21 August 2013

IPAF fatality statistics for the first six months of 2013.

IPAF fatality statistics for the first six months of 2013.

There were 28 fatalities worldwide involving aerial work platforms in the first half of 2013 according to IPAF’s accident database.

This compares to 32 for the whole of 2012 and represents a 65% increase over the 17 fatalities recorded in the first half of 2012. IPAF said it believed the increase reflects the fact that its accident reporting project is capturing more data, and not necessarily that there are more accidents.

The main causes of the fatalities in the first half of this year were: overturn (10), fall from height (9), entrapment (5), electrocution (3), and impact with aerial platform. The five entrapment fatalities compares to one fatality of this type in 2012.

Thirteen of the fatalities involved booms, 10 involved scissor lifts, and three were related to vehicle mounted platforms. In two cases, the machine type was unknown.

Of these fatalities, 13 occurred in the USA, eight in Europe (two each in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK), and one each in Armenia, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, Norway, Spain and the UAE.

“Findings from IPAF’s rental market reports lead us to estimate that there are more than one million MEWPs in the world,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “Every fatality is one too many, but these figures show that powered access equipment remains a safe way to carry out temporary work at height.”

At the same time as releasing the latest figures IPAF has revised the statistics for 2012, with a previously unreported fatality in Canada in October 2012 added, bringing the total number of fatalities to 32.

IPAF technical officer Chris Wraith said; “The accuracy of the data relies upon those using MEWPs and other interested parties to report any known fatal accidents to IPAF at www.ipaf.org/accident or to an IPAF member of staff.

“The comprehensiveness of the data cannot be guaranteed, but where appropriate, action is taken to verify the facts. The data is updated should relevant information become available.”

IPAF’s accident data is based on information collected in a number of ways: directly reported to the IPAF accident database at www.ipaf.org/accident, information obtained by IPAF staff worldwide, and information collated from press releases and news reports.

IPAF encourages all manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users are encouraged to report any known fatal and serious accidents involving mobile elevating work platforms and mast climbing work platforms worldwide at the IPAF accident database. The project is open to IPAF members and non-members, and includes an option for anonymous reporting.

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