IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

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IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby derekfortune » Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:57 am

There was blocked guttering at a place of work and a hire company delivered a MEWP. The driver said he would show the operators the controls and there would be signed documentation as eveidence of training and this would be deemed as ok.

If the company employees are going to use this "cherry picker" surely they need an IPAF ticket even if they are only up there for five minutes?

In the end the guy from the hire company went up there himself and done the work and then an employee went up afterwards to isnpect while the hire company guy used the controls. As I understand it that is ok as he is just a passenger, is that correct?

So three questions:

If working on a MEWP do you need a IPAF licence?
Is the employer ok to inspect the work as a passenger without a licence and a trained person using the controls?
In both of the above are harnesses required?

Thx, Derek
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Re: IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby Ian Rienewerf » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:04 am

I have been told that a vertical scissor lift is OK without IPAF.
But an outreach boom type of MEWP needs an IPAF - because it can overturn.

Being a passenger is OK without any type of training, and it also covers your harness user while he is under competent supervision.
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Re: IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby DennisH » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:16 am

Derek.

Sounds to me that the guy was giving a control familiarisation and not training to operate the equipment. Perhaps the hire company assumed that because you hire a Mewp you would have suitably trained persons on site to operate.

I would also contact the hire firm for clarification as weather someone showing others the actual control constitutes training or weather it was just control familiarisation. If they deem that to be full training and provide certificate of competance then i would escalate this, as this piece of kit can be very dangerous when people don't understand the machine charicteristics.
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Re: IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby Jack Kane » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:25 am

Derek, we have dozens of cherry picker operators at work and none of them hold an IPAF license (unless from a previous life).

All of our operators are given training by a competent external trainer on our dedicated cherry picker equipment. I don't see the point in having our guys go through the IPAF training to teach them to operate a wide range of MEWPs when we only have a cherry picker on site and they will never use any other type whilst on our site.

I wouldn't be keen on sending anybody up a cherry picker without some sort of working at heights training, whether as a passenger or not. But I suppose that's open to debate and what a risk assessment will require.

I would suggest that cherry pickers and other items of equipment with outreach booms will require the use of a harness and training in their fitting, inspection and what to do in the event of a fall etc. Other vertical platforms like scissor lifts I would suggest don't require harnesses as they are only going up and down and should be used on flat level ground.
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Re: IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby Johnno » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:27 am

We insist that any of our Employees likely to use a MEWP or SPB hold an IPAF training Certificate.
For the sake of £600 for a day's training (4 people) it's not worth the risk of sending somebody up who is "half cocked". The pukka training covers actual use of the Machine, correct selection & use of Harness/Lanyard & rescue arrangements all of which are vitally important to any Operator.
The IPAF "Logbook" which is issued on qualification is a handy Tool for monitoring a persons useage of the Equipment & their level of skill/familiarisation & must be signed off on completeion of work by the Site management.

IMHO anyone using one of these Machines without correct, certified training is just another fatality waiting to happen. :(

BTW you can tailor the training to your own requirements if it is done on Site, we have our Guys trained on 3a & 3b (MEWPs & SPBs) which does not cover vehicle mounted or towed Machines.
Once the training is done you are covered for 5 years & only have to worry about risk assessments.
One major problem I find when having Contractors on Site using WAH equipment is that they frequently have the wrong Harness/Lanyard set, a "Fall Arrest" is of zero use when using these Machines, you should always use a "Restraint Harness" with a shortish lanyard to prevent leaning/climbing out of the Machine. The Kit should be inspected before & after use as well as periodically & it has a useable life of 5 years in service (10 years storage), again this is something you would be taught on the IPAF Course.

The whole business of "This is how it works mate, off you go" worries me.Would an untrained person know about pre use checks, where to find the LOLER test date on the Machine, what to do if the Controls malfunction, how to lower the Machine from the Ground in an emergency etc ? .scratch
Last edited by Johnno on Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:42 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby anthonyg » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:35 am

Derek,
Jack is on the money with the previous post and via your WAH risk assessment - dont forget a rescue plan!!!!!!!!!!!!!! .salut
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Re: IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby Outdoor Eric » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:57 am

Hi Derek,

I agree with Jack on this one. My understanding is that IPAF are a non-profit making body who assist with best practice in the powered access sector (worldwide) for manufacturers, training bodies etc. Their accredited training agents deliver courses to an exacting standard but this could also be true of training companies who are accredited elsewhere. We use a company which delivers both IPAF and their own similar, excellent courses and I have no issue with the level of training the staff receive on the non-IPAF course - to be honest, the only real difference for me is the PAL card which costs around £32 (I have gone through IPAF and non-IPAF courses with this company).

The IPAF website is a good source of information and sensible guidance, in particular with the use of harnesses in varuious types of MEWP.
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Re: IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby nige b » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:58 am

we have the two MEWPS on site but all our chaps who may be required to use them are IPAF the course is run on site ( By APS usual disclaimer) and is taylored to our chaps . we issue PTW for all MEWP use and its a requirement that only trained persons use them IPAF . it also covers my backside and the company .

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Re: IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby Johnno » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:00 pm

Same here Nige, it's that time of year when the Council put the Christmas Lights up around here & you wouldn't believe some of the stunts I've seen them doing.. :shock: If they've been trained I'm a Monkey's Uncle. :lol:
Yey though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I fear no Evil because I have all the Risk Assessments & Safe Systems Of Work with me.

sO WHAT EXACTLY DOES THE cAPS lOCK kEY DO?
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Re: IPAF Cert when using MEWPS

Postby lanni » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:35 pm

From my past experiance within the construction indusrty you do not drive any plant unless you have the correct cert I.E IPAF.
As for out side the construction industry im not sure if its the same. I could hire one to work on my home and wouldnt need to have a cert for it.

Found this

http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/mewps.htm
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