IPAF publishes US-edition document aimed at avoiding trapping and crushing incidents

26 April 2011

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has published a US edition of guidance aimed at avoiding trapping or crushing incidents when aerial work platforms (AWPs) are used in confined overhead spaces. The Best Practice Guidance for AWPs: Avoiding Trapping/Crushing Injuries to People in the Platform is available at the Publications section of www.ipaf.org and www.awpt.org

"This document aims to focus thinking, and actions, with regard to the avoidance of 'crushing' accidents on AWPs," said Kevin O'Shea, chairman of the IPAF North American Regional Council. "It helps to focus collective industry thinking on a strategic preventative approach."

IPAF said there have been a number of fatal accidents involving the use of AWPs in which the operator was crushed against fixtures or other obstacles while working at height, which spurred the document. IPAF believes that such incidents can be prevented by correct planning, preparation and selection of appropriate machinery to be used correctly.

The guide was prepared by the industry to provide clarity about the safe use of AWPs including planning, equipment selection, training, provision of information, familiarization, safe use, supervision and rehearsal of rescue procedures, together with monitoring of the whole process.

A UK document has been on the IPAF and its subsidiary American Work Platform Training (AWPT) websites already. The document has now been reviewed and made available for American use, in response to requests from AWPT training centers and IPAF members, including the IPAF Manufacturers' Technical Committee. There are no substantive changes to the document, and any changes are limited to items that are related to legislation, standards or language.

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