The International Powered Access Federation’s North America Regional Council is hosting its second Innovate event July 16-17 in Chicago at the Sheraton Suites Chicago O’Hare.
The event operates as a workshop split into two parts (an afternoon on the first day and morning on the second day) that allows all attendees to be active participants in the development of potential solutions to industry issues. There will also be new hands-on opportunities this year.
“The event allows the knowledge and experience of each attendee to be heard and considered and the ability to listen and learn from others in the effort to collaborate and innovate,” said Tony Groat, IPAF’s North American regional manager. “Each participant is a member of one working group and on day two they get to hear the ideas of all other groups who will present their ideas on equally important issues. Collectively all participants will take the role of a board of director and cast a vote on the best idea that will provide improvement for the MEWP industry.”
All participants will contribute to a selected workshop to create and develop a means to improve the MEWP industry while addressing one of 10 key current subjects identified. The issues include:
Recognizing and avoiding electrocution
Qualified service technicians
Preventing MEWP tip-overs
Understanding the value for MEWP familiarization
Completing OEM compliant inspections
User selecting the proper MEWP equipment
Innovation – how can it be used to improve our industry?
Preventing workers falling from an elevated MEWP
Are all persons trained/qualified before operating a MEWP?
Are user awareness and understanding of supervisory training requirements?
“New for this year is the ability for all attendees to demo a virtual reality simulator for MEWPs, which is being provided by United Rentals,” Groat noted. “Three units will be onsite for use during the first day of the workshop, prior to the Noon start time, and after the end of the first day’s session right up until dinner, the workshop groups will have one hour to view all technologies on display.”
Groat said last year’s Innovate event had participants leaving with greater knowledge on key industry issues, which they could then take back to their companies.
“Each work group created potential solutions that were documented and shared publicly to allow these ideas to grow into results,” he said. “Many of the ideas became part of work that IPAF is progressing on in many areas of the industry. Some of the ideas have already begun to influence future standards.”
Innovate is open to all industry stakeholders – from CEOs to equipment operators or service technicians, from manufacturers to end users – and provides the opportunity to both share and listen to the ideas of others.
“The ability to gather members of the industry and share knowledge and ideas as a think tank workshop to create potential solutions to known issues is a model that can be duplicated for many purposes,” Groat noted. “We are stronger together and ideas can come from everyone regardless of their job title or experience. Sometimes you need experience and sometimes you need a fresh look at an old problem. In the end, we are creating, innovating, learning, sharing and building new networks with all attendees. Getting more hands and minds involved in the industry can only create good results.”