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IPAF: HSE not doing enough after fatal powered access accident

IPAF: HSE not doing enough after fatal powered access accident

2 December 2013 Email this article

Nearly six months ago 29-year-old Rick Jaeger-Fozard, foreman at Kimberly Access’ Iver depot, was killed when an elevated work platform he was in – a Genie Z135/70 - overturned onto the M25 motorway in June.  

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been investigating the accident but, according to the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), until it makes some kind of statement on the causes, platform users are left in the dark about the safety of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).

Kimberley Access has kept all of its Z135’s grounded since the incident, and IPAF says that the industry is waiting for the HSE to give the machine a clean bill of health of make any necessary recommendations. It has now written to employment minister Esther McVey, who has responsibility for the HSE, urging her to look into why it takes so long for the HSE to respond to fatal accidents

IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman has told the minister of the ‘extreme concern’ of IPAF’s UK Council over the delay taken by the HSE, and that the body needs to ensure that preliminary information about fatal accidents are released more quickly to ensure that lessons can be learned and appropriate measures taken.

In his letter, Mr Whiteman tells the minister that the correct and safe use of MEWPS provides a much safer alternative to many unsafe methods that are used for temporary working at height. “As a result, it is imperative that confidence in the safe use of MEWPs is maintained,” he writes.

“It is now five months since the fatal accident took place and no information or data has been released to the industry,” Mr Whiteman says. “This delay is not acceptable; it leads to confusion and concern in the industry and can even lead to people considering the use of alternative, less safe methods of performing temporary work at height.”

He added: “IPAF’s members and staff represent an enormous pool of industry knowledge and expertise. They stand ready to assist in any way possible to ensure that appropriate resources and skills are available for such investigations.”