31 aerial platform fatalities in 2012 reports IPAF

By KHL Group05 February 2013

There were 31 fatalities worldwide involving aerial work platforms in 2012, according to preliminary results of IPAF’s accident database.

Falls from the platform, accounting for 9 fatalities, was the most common cause of death, followed closely by electrocution (8) and overturning (6). Entrapment, an issue that has been in the spotlight in recent years, led to four fatalities and mechanical/technical failures were responsible for four.

Almost half of the number of reported fatalities (16) involved booms, eleven related to vehicle mounts, and four involved scissor lifts.

The statistics follow IPAF’s introduction of a voluntary accident and fatality reporting programme in January last year and the results for 2012 represent the first full year of reporting.

About two-thirds of the fatalities (20) occurred in the USA, the largest single market for powered access equipment in the world. Three fatalities were reported in the Netherlands, two in the UK, and one each in Australia, Austria, Canada, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland.

“The first year of the accident reporting project is producing significant results and is allowing us to both improve our training programmes and focus our safety campaigns to make this safe industry even safer,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman.

“There are over 1.5 million MEWPs/AWPs in use around the world, and while every death is a tragedy, powered access is still a very safe way to work at height.”

The data is based on accidents reported directly to IPAF and through information collated from various news media. IPAF said the accuracy of the data cannot be guaranteed, but where appropriate, action is taken to verify the facts and the data is amended where more information become available.

IPAF launched its accident reporting project with the aim of building up a comprehensive record of known accidents, in one location and in one common format. Data gathered enables IPAF to analyse and look for common trends, and propose possible actions to further improve and promote the safe use of powered access worldwide.

“The accident database has been enhanced with new functions,” said IPAF technical officer Chris Wraith. “A dashboard facility has been added which allows companies who report monthly to track and monitor accidents related to their staff, and from 2013, accident data will also be collected on mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs).”

IPAF rental company members in the UK have voluntarily committed to report any known MEWP accidents involving their staff at the IPAF accident database. All manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users are encouraged to report any known fatal and serious accidents involving MEWPs and MCWPs worldwide at www.ipaf.org/accident

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