Key messages from the IPAF Summit 2012
The theme of this year's IPAF Summit on 29 March, was analysing accidents to reduce accidents and perhaps taking a leaf out of the aviation industry's book, when it comes to setting a high safety standard.
A number of world class speakers hosted the event and each presented compelling stories - which were backed up by facts, figures and 'graphic' images of incidents that had occurred in the access industry world wide. Tim Whiteman opened the event, with a welcome from the IPAF President Wayne Lawson.
Presentations at the IPAF Summit
The most striking presentation delivered was by Andy Studdert, CEO of NES Rentals, based in the US; 'What can Aerials learn from aviation'. Andy explained how his experience of working as COO of United Airlines from 1999-2002 and during 9/11, had shown him just how advanced the safety standards are in the airline industry, in comparison to the construction and maintenance sector - and that we should be doing more to follow their example. Having worked in the airline industry, he was then able to transfer this knowledge and make a big improvement in safety and operational performance at NES Rentals in the US.
He referred to the reliance of standard, repeatable safety processes in the aviation industry - for example, the first officer doing a walk-round inspection of the plane before each flight and the culture of intervention - such as the power to stop a flight, having identified a safety concern.
Chris Wraith, IPAF Technical Officer, gave a passionate presentation concerning the number of accidents and deaths that have occurred in the industry. He introduced the IPAF accident reporting facility on the IPAF website, that's been set up to help collect data on accidents and near misses - so that we can all learn from experiences and improve safety and training in the future. Chris emphasised that all information can be submitted in strict confidence and can be done either by reporting on the site, emailing or over the phone. He summed up his presentation with a call to action to all of us to work to make this a safer industry, something we would all like to do.