2012 Highlights: Some of our favourite stories...
When it comes to working at height, there was lots to celebrate in 2012. The year started on a high note when IPAF announced in January that a record number of 101, 457 people completed an IPAF training course in 2011, with a further 97, 488 people being issued with Powered Access Licence (PAL) card, meaning that they have been proven competent at operating powered access equipment safely and effectively.
The number of IPAF members also swelled during 2011, with nearly 900 members worldwide. IPAF CEO, Tim Whiteman, commented: “We congratulate all members, contractors and training centres for their support and recognise all who contribute to the success of this industry-led voluntary training programme.”
We at Facelift also started the year with a little something to be proud of ourselves, as we totted up the amount we raised for children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House in our Christmas appeal. We donated £2.50 for every hire during November and December, and in total managed to raise a whopping £7,500, all of which will help support children and young adults with progressing life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.
We were also delighted in April when our very own Gordon Leicester, MD of Facelift, presented an award at the IAPA Awards in Rome. Gordon stepped in on behalf of Facelift to present the Product of the Year, for Mast Climbing Work Platform Hoists to Geda-Dechentreiter - Multilift P 18 S.
In June IPAF hit the headlines again when they took working at height a step further by launching the PAL+ course for working at height. Rather like the ‘Pass Plus’ course augments the skills you must learn to pass a driving test, the PAL+ course is an optional, additional day of category-specific training, and complements the PAL operator course by helping to build additional skills and knowledge for MEWP operators working in more difficult environments.
It’s a challenging course, covering both theory and practice, meaning not everyone passes first time round. However, when operatives do pass the course, they, and their colleagues will be safe in the knowledge that they’ve got what it takes to tackle some of the most challenging working at height scenarios around.
Perhaps the politicos of Westminster should have taken note of the top quality training on offer, as it certainly seems like a little intensive working at height training wouldn’t have gone amiss for our political elite, when in August politicians of both red and blue, showed they haven’t got a head for heights.
First Boris Johnson made national headlines when he found himself dangling rather forlornly on a zip wire following a stunt to promote the Olympics, while Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock fell from a ladder at home while moving things in his attic.
Not too far from Parliament, in Trafalgar Square, working at height came to the fore once more in October as baffled crowds looked on as street performer Pete Dobbing performed his signature trick of climbing and balancing on an entirely unsupported 10ft ladder. With a ‘barely there’ attitude to both safety and clothing, it’s still not clear what the entertainer was promoting.
Facelift also made a bit of a splash in October 2012, when we showed the might of the Bronto S50XDT-J as we carried out restoration work in a monastery in Sussex., and of course we ended the year on a high note as we put up the Christmas tree in London’s Trafalgar square...
Here’s to a safe and successful 2013!