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Ignorance of machinery, legislation or regulations is no excuse in the eyes of the law if something goes wrong on site. Tat’s why IPAF has introduced a course for managers


ust as it is essential for mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) operators to attend a training course

and hold a valid PAL Card (Powered Access Licence), managers and supervisors should also have the knowledge and expertise to plan and oversee the use of MEWPs – even if they do not personally operate the machines. Understanding the full range of powered

access solutions available and being able to choose the right machine for a specific task ensures the correct platform is hired. Knowing how to plan and supervise its use will also result in safe and efficient operation, reducing the risk of accidents and injury, while improving productivity. There is a seemingly neverending list of

regulations and legislation governing the use of powered access, much of which is universal.


However, there are also some regulations that relate to specific industry sectors. All managers should be familiar with current legislation and standards that affect their business, such as the Provision and Use of Equipment at Work Regulations (PUWER), the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and the Work at Height Regulations, to name but three. Managers should also be aware that lack

of knowledge is no excuse in the eyes of the law, and in many cases the buck will stop very firmly at their desk if something goes wrong. IPAF has developed a comprehensive

one-day course for managers and supervisors. MEWPs for Managers can be run on a trainee’s own site or at one of the many IPAF-approved training centres around the country. The programme covers all of the relevant legislation and standards, as well as teaching best practice for managers involved with work at height. Powered access is not only a construction-

related sector, and MEWPs for Managers is suitable for managers and supervisors in a wide range of industries, from facilities management and retail to industrial cleaning and tree surgery. The course does not teach managers to operate MEWPs, but provides vital knowledge about operator training and familiarisation requirements. Managers also gain greater understanding of factors involved

in hiring in access equipment, with or without skilled operators. The course outlines a company’s and

an employee’s responsibilities once the machinery is on site, from daily maintenance to pre-use inspection and checks. Managers also gain an appreciation of

planning and the operation of MEWPs, including the need for ground investigation and risk assessments, and effective accident prevention and rescue strategies. Also covered are PPE requirements such as harness types and use. “Managers go away knowing what the

legislation is, the different types of MEWPs and why it is important to select the right one – and what protection equipment is required,” says IPAF instructor Andrew Woodrow. “MEWPs are inherently a very safe and

efficient means of working at height, far safer than many alternatives. But using the right machine and operating in a safe, planned manner are essential requirements for successful working practice.” Use the training centre locator at to find one that offers MEWPs for Managers courses. n


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