When working at height in potentially hazardous buildings, health and safety should be the number one consideration for both employees and employers.
By law, employers must comply with the Working at Height Regulations 2005, ensuring that anyone they employ is competent and well trained.
In addition, training helps machinery operators to increase the safety and efficiency of the way they work which has a positive effect on productivity.
On a professionally run site, someone who hasn’t undertaken the appropriate training simply won’t be allowed to work.
The Correct Training for Working at Height
The quickest and easiest way to prove that you are competent to work at height on a construction site or similar is to offer a card or certificate from a relevant training body to potential employers. This will prove that you’ve completed the training you need successfully and are properly qualified for the job you are undertaking.
Other than scaffolding, work at height equipment generally falls into two categories.
1. Powered access equipment – This covers a range of Mobile Elevated Work Platforms or MEWPS including:
- Sky jacks
- Genie lifts
- Man lifts
- Access platforms
- Mobile vertical
- Static vertical
- Mobile booms
- Static booms
- Boom lifts
- Cherry pickers
- Scissor lifts
2. Manual Towers and Access Platforms – This is covered by a range of access machinery including:
- Razor decks
- Pop ups
- Zip up
- Scaffold towers
- Platform towers
- Alloy towers
- Mobile towers
- Access towers
The most widely accepted and well respected training programs are run by PASMA for manual access training and IPAF for powered access training.
What is IPAF Powered Access Training?
The International Powered Access Federation or IPAF carry out comprehensive training courses covering all aspects of powered access training. On successful completion of the course delegates are issued with a Powered Access Licence or PAL card, which is recognised as proof of competency by the Major Contractors Group (MCG) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
IPAF is an international federation promoting the safe use of powered access machinery across the world. It is a non-profit organisation that was formed to represent the interests of training companies, hire companies, users, distributors and manufacturers. It covers things such as scissor lift training.
IPAF training conforms to ISO 18878 and is TUV certified. At present over 70,000 participants are trained worldwide every year in over 300 training centres around the world.
Once a PAL card has been issued it remains valid for a period of five years and details when the card was acquired and the date after which training ill need to be renewed. The card also shows what level of training the operator has received, such as instructor or demonstrator and lists the type of equipment that the card holder is able to operate. In addition the card comes with security features such as the holder’s photograph and a holographic logo to deter misuse.
So whether you’re an employer or an employee, if your job involved working at height then make sure you and everyone around you gets the right qualifications and a PAL card with IPAF training.