across borders

24 April 2008

IPAF says 95% of training across its accredited network is common. “Differences in the two largest markets, the US and Europe, are the result of differences in language, machine terminology, regulations and equipment design which exist because of differences between EN 280 and ANSI A92 [standards],” says Dennis Eckstine, who heads IPAF's affiliate in the US, Aerial Work Platform Training, Inc (AWPT).

“It is critical that North American operators understand the difference between ‘familiarisation' and ‘general training' or ‘primary training'”, he says, 'Familiarization' is typically provided by the person who delivers the aerial work platform from the rental company to the job site. It is often confused with ‘general training' (required by A92.6-1999) or ‘primary training' (required by ISO 18878). ‘General training' includes purpose and use of manuals, pre-start inspection, responsibilities, safety rules, regulations, factors affecting stability, hazards and their avoidance, and operation of the aerial platform.

IPAF's councils in major user countries, such as Germany, the US and Italy, contribute to the commonality and relevancy of training. They suggest revisions, some from monitoring of local legislation, which IPAF annually evaluates for adoption. The whole process ensures that the bright yellow PAL card remains an international badge of reliable access safety training.

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