Australia's aerial work platform association EWPA and IPAF, the UK based international aerial lift association have signed a working agreement where both powered access associations can work closely together on the production and promotion of safety initiatives for the access industry.
The presidents and chief executives of both organisations signed the agreement at the end of April, with final progress towards the conclusion of an agreement having been made earlier in the month during a meeting between EWPA vice president Tim Nuttall, and IPAF president Brad Boehler while in Munich for Bauma.
IPAF chief executive Tim Whiteman said: “This is an important document which looks forward to the future partnership.”
EWPA chief executive James Oxenham added: “I look forward to connecting the access industry experts in Australia with IPAF’s wide network of access industry specialists and working together on the high standards of equipment safety and safe use of aerial work platforms."
This is very positive news - potentially. It is obviously early days and the true test ‘will be in eating’. Both organisations have much to contribute to and learn from each other. IPAF has expanded its coverage far wider and more comprehensively than any of the original members/founders could have ever imagined, making a real difference to the safety and quality of the powered access industry along the way while introducing one of the very few international operator training licences in the PAL card.
At the same time the EWPA has consistently led the way with new safety, training and membership initiatives and solutions, while working closely and keeping in tune with its membership. Some of this has come from having to work within a tough legal and regulatory system, but much from the very active participation of its members.
Safety while working at height should be the same everywhere, yet standards still vary enormously around the world. Having two organisations like this pool their efforts and work together on the issue, rather than working in isolation makes total sense. It is also something that members of both organisations will applaud.
All too often associations fall into the trap where they compete with each other and can appear to be run for the benefit of their executives rather than for their members, or to promote the safety and improvement of the industry as a whole.
So it is very encouraging to see world’s two leading powered access organisations come together to cooperate like this.