IPAF launches Smart PAL Card
By Sarah Ann McCay02 December 2013
The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has launched a machine-readable Smart PAL Card (Powered Access Licence) for use in operating mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) on site.
Available in different languages, the new smart card ensures that only trained operators are accepted on site, by way of a wireless icon and embedded chip.
A card reader fitted to the machine can read the data in the chip. The reader can be set up to accept certain data, which in turn will allows the machine to be operated. This data includes whether or not the cardholder (operator) is trained, to what level and in which machine categories.
Site managers can use the system to ensure that only correctly trained operators can operate MEWPs or MCWPs (mast climbing work platforms). They can also track who has used which machine for how long, and prevent fraudulent use.
“The yellow PAL Card is established as a must-have qualification on most job sites and the optional new smartcard technology will bring added benefits,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “The Smart PAL Card can be used as part of an electronic logbook of operator experience and can be linked to machine tracking systems. It brings exciting possibilities to make MEWP access safer and MEWP use more secure.”
Operators or companies can specify if they wish to be issued with a Smart PAL Card or a standard PAL Card when booking courses with their IPAF-approved training centre.
PAL Cards are issued to operators who successfully complete the IPAF training programme after passing a written and a practical test. They are valid for five years and show the machine categories that operators have been trained in.
The Smart PAL Card does not include any additional personal contact details and IPAF ensures all personal data is kept secure in line with data protection legislation.