The annual IPAF Summit and IAPA awards have opened in Madrid. More than 300 delegates are registered for the daytime conference and 415 guests are expected for the IAPA awards in the evening.
The conference began with a live video-link presentation from Australia, given by Tony Smith, a senior investigator of mine safety in New South Wales, Department of Industry.
Mr Smith explained how his department was able to complete a major fatal accident investigation within 12 months. The accident involved an entrapment injury to the operator of an articulated boom.
A six page information note was issued by the agency within two weeks of the fatality, and its 79 page investigation report was released in August 2015, including recommendations for action. These publications are available on the department’s website.
Other speakers in the morning session included Giles Councell, IPAF’s director of operations, and Jose Maria Tamborero del Pino, coordinator of safety technical guidance for the Spanish health and safety institute.
The day began with the IPAF annual general meeting, at which Andy Studdert, IPAF president and CEO of NES Rentals, said his first year in post had been focused on managing change within IPAF and creating a culture of intervention in the industry.
“We’ve seen more change – driven by IPAF’s new eLearning programme – than we ever imagined”, said Mr Studdert, “It’s coming along quite well and we will end up with a more robust training system worldwide.”
He said everybody in the industry needed to take responsible for intervening when they see unsafe practices, “whoever you are, wherever you are. Our single most important job is getting or people home in the same condition as they arrived.”
The Summit and awards returned to Europe this year following last year’s event in Washington DC, USA. The IAPA awards are jointly organised by IPAF and Access International magazine.
The venue for next year’s Summit and Awards will be announced at the end of the awards presentation this evening and will be published at www.khl.com shortly thereafter.