Other fo­cus ar­eas in­clude iden­ti­fy­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pand with the MEWP in­dus­try into new coun­tries to share good prac­tice and cre­at­ing ca­reer paths for peo­ple em­ployed in the in­dus­try

PMV Middle East - - STRATEGY -

The In­ter­na­tional Pow­ered Ac­cess Fed­er­a­tion’s (IPAF’S) lat­est fa­tal in­jury rate (FIR) anal­y­sis for 2017 re­veals that the com­mon­est cause of deaths in 2017 was elec­tro­cu­tions, tak­ing over from falls from the plat­form in 2016, and coun­tries that saw a spike in the num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties in­cluded the US, Spain, France, and Italy. The US, which has around 43% of the global MEWP fleet within its bor­ders, saw the per­cent­age of to­tal re­ported fa­tal­i­ties rise to more than 80%.

An­drew De­lahunt, tech­ni­cal and safety di­rec­tor, IPAF, says: “While the num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties rose from 66 in 2016 to 83 last year, this was ow­ing in no small part to greatly en­hanced re­port­ing of ac­ci­dents and fa­tal­i­ties via IPAF’S on­go­ing in­ci­dent re­port­ing project. IPAF will adapt its safety and train­ing pro­grammes to ad­dress these con­cern­ing trends.”

One of the key fo­cus ar­eas of IPAF’S re­cently an­nounced three-year strate­gic plan (2018–2020) is to im­pact MEWP us­age to re­duce the fa­tal in­ci­dent rate by cre­at­ing and shar­ing global in­dus­try stan­dards, cam­paigns and best prac­tices. Other fo­cus ar­eas in­clude iden­ti­fy­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pand with the MEWP in­dus­try into new coun­tries to share good prac­tice; cre­at­ing ca­reer paths for peo­ple em­ployed in the in­dus­try, from PDI cour­ses through to fully qual­i­fied spe­cial­ist MEWP tech­ni­cians, in­clud­ing the devel­op­ment of other op­er­a­tor cour­ses such as for tele­han­dlers; and de­vel­op­ing and im­ple­ment­ing a strat­egy to op­ti­mise the use of vir­tual re­al­ity (VR), sim­u­la­tors and IPAF’S ex­pand­ing elearn­ing of­fer, while in­te­grat­ing the Smart PAL Card into sys­tems to de­liver a full dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ence.

The IPAF also aims to ad­dress the chal­lenge of how AWP man­u­fac­tur­ers can help re­design the work site of the fu­ture to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity and safety at the same time. Ac­cord­ing to Brad Boehler, pres­i­dent, Sky­jack, the an­swer lies in the adop­tion of tech­nolo­gies such as aug­mented re­al­ity and vir­tual re­al­ity, wear­able and smart tech, drones and bet­ter con­nec­tiv­ity (in­clud­ing telem­at­ics) and ro­bot­ics. Data could drive en­hanced and re­al­time track­ing of stats such as real util­i­sa­tion rates, or alert equip­ment own­ers of over­turns or even near misses that may oth­er­wise go un­re­ported.

Tim White­man, CEO of IPAF, ob­serves that VR and MEWP sim­u­la­tors have been re­ally cap­tur­ing peo­ple’s imag­i­na­tion lately. “One of the main ben­e­fits of VR tech­nol­ogy is that it al­lows trainees or ex­pe­ri­enced op­er­a­tors alike to re­hearse spe­cific sce­nar­ios or en­vi­ron­ments that it would not be safe to recre­ate in real life us­ing MEWP equip­ment at height. Ev­ery­one who has tried such sim­u­la­tors has been se­ri­ously im­pressed by the ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It re­ally feels like you are mov­ing the plat­form into the air, or travers­ing over rough ter­rain, de­pend­ing on the sce­nario. Per­cep­tions have been shifted and the sim­u­la­tor has proved a great way to en­gage peo­ple on the sub­ject of train­ing and safety in­struc­tion in the pow­ered ac­cess in­dus­try,” he says.

There’s con­sen­sus that adopt­ing ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies, em­brac­ing change, util­is­ing and analysing big data and most im­por­tantly re­ly­ing on a skilled and highly en­gaged and en­er­gised work­force are all key to a suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able busi­ness model and en­hanc­ing safety in the pow­ered ac­cess rental mar­ket.

Don Kenny, CEO, pow­ered ac­cess di­vi­sion, Loxam, points out that although change is nec­es­sary, in­no­va­tion in the AWP in­dus­try should fit busi­ness mod­els.

“How do you work na­tion­ally, and de­liver lo­cally? Treat the cus­tomers dif­fer­ently, give them some­thing they want. Those of us run­ning pow­ered ac­cess rental busi­nesses can­not af­ford to be ‘blue sky thinkers’. We have to run our busi­nesses as they are to­day, but that doesn’t mean we must re­sist change,” says Kenny.

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