UK Contractors Group stresses PAL+ training requirements
The Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP) Good Practice Toolkit has been updated to include additional guidance about what training is required, in particular expected levels of Powered Access Licence (PAL / PAL+) competence.
First published by the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) in January 2014, the toolkit provides guidance for UKCG sites and for the supply chain on how they should plan, manage and use MEWPs on their sites, and on how to ensure that they comply with all requirements.
The revised toolkit highlights competence requirements for operators and users, including:
- Operators of MEWPs will hold an IPAF PAL or CPCS qualification for the appropriate category of MEWP.
- The UKCG recommends that all IPAF PAL qualified operators should obtain the PAL+ qualification within the first two years of obtaining their PAL qualification in order to demonstrate a higher level of experience and competence.
- That some UKCG members will have additional requirements, for example where there are high-risk work activities or where a challenging project means they only permit IPAF PAL+ qualified or CPCS Experienced Worker (blue card) operators to work on site.
The document also reiterates that the UKCG implemented a requirement on 31 October 2013 that safety net riggers, steel erectors and associated trades working on UKCG sites must hold a PAL+ qualification or a relevant CPCS Experienced Worker card. The document further states that: "Where inexperienced workers or trainees need to gain experience prior to obtaining the PAL+ qualification, the worker may operate a MEWP only when supervised (in the basket) by a PAL+ qualified or CPCS Experienced Worker operator."