IPAF sees safety progress in the Middle East

By Chris Sleight15 January 2014

IPAF representative in the UAE, Jason Woods.

IPAF representative in the UAE, Jason Woods.

An improving culture of safety and the influence of western contractors is leading to more training courses and Powered Access Licence (PAL card) accreditation), according to Jason Woods, the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) representative in the UAE.

Speaking at the Intermat Middle East exhibition, Mr Woods said, “In the early days people didn’t want to know. The people running the sites didn’t understand the benefits of safety. It’s better now, but it takes time.”

However, Mr Woods said that local attitudes are changing and the influx of international into the region to take on major projects is proving a positive influence. “There are a lot of westerners that are safety managers and they bring that with them,” he said, adding, “We are seeing the number of PAL cards going up.”

According to Mr Woods, there is further traction outside the UAE, in other regional hotspots. “Qatar is very fast growing and the standards are similar to the UAE. I have four training centres wanting to come on board in Qatar. There are a lot of western contractors there and a lot of westerner safety managers,” he said.

Mr Woods also said that other industries were warming to the concept of operator training and the PAL card. “Another area were hitting is oil & gas, and that is by far the biggest industry out here,” he said.

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