UK best practice forum aims high

By Euan Youdale05 December 2012

From left: Chris Wraith, IPAF technical officer; John Keely, Niftylift managing director; Keith Prin

From left: Chris Wraith, IPAF technical officer; John Keely, Niftylift managing director; Keith Prince, Laing O’ Rourke (South) head of HS&E; Teresa Kee, NES Rentals environment, health and safety

Nationwide Platforms has held its fourth annual Working at Height Best Practice Forum in the UK.

Delegates at the one-day event came from the rental, manufacturing, contracting, and health and safety sectors. They included representatives of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), as well as employees of UK Construction Group (UKCG) companies.

"With falls from height and other working at height issues making up the largest number of deaths in the construction industry, the forum is built on the core aim of improving safety for all workers across the globe," said a Nationwide spokesman.

Guest speakers included Niftylift managing director John Keely, Laing O’ Rourke’s (South) head of HS&E Keith Prince, and the environment, health and safety director of US rental giant NES Rentals, Teresa Kee.

The event also saw the speakers joined for a questions and answer session by Nationwide Platforms’ UK director of quailty, health, safety, environment (QHSE) Mark Keily, and IPAF’s Technical Officer, Chris Wraith.

In a new addition to the 2012 event, a number of breakout group sessions were held in the afternoon to debate and decide on the most important safety issues associated with working at height.

Groups then rejoined the forum to outline specific commitments to improving safety for 2013. This included utilising IPAF’s Accident Reporting Database, working together to improve safety communications by creating and sharing videos and other media content, and inviting representatives from other safety-related groups to the next forum.

Mick Ledden, Nationwide executive director, business development helped establish the forum and in recent years the event has contributed to increasing industry awareness of issues such as entrapment and end-user training, he said.

Speaking at the event, Mr Ledden said, “It’s always been our aim to establish the kind of highly challenging aims that really can really help make a difference. This year I believe we’ve gone even further than that, with some incredibly strong commitments emerging from our group discussions.

Mr Ledden added, "Now the hard work will really begin to help make sure we all meet those commitments, with Nationwide Platforms taking a leading role in helping all of our guests make the impact that we’ve outlined. It’s my great hope that at 2013’s event we once again return having achieved some very special feats.”

Further information about the 2013 Working at Height Best Practice Forum will be availabe in the New Year.

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