While the aerial industry is providing safer alternatives for working at height, the work is going higher under challenging conditions, Matt Fearon, president of Terex Aerial Work Platforms told the recent International Powered Access Federation Summit in Windsor, U.K.
Fearon added that the new 180-foot boomlifts offer new opportunities. He said bigger booms are being used in new applications such as oil refineries, power plants, steel structures, stadiums, bridge access, high-rise buildings and harbor cranes.
More than 200 IPAF Summit attendees also heard a presentation on how to communicate and demonstrate their company potential and value to investors from United Rentals executive vice president and chief financial officer Bill Plummer, and Fred Bratman, senior vice president of corporate communications and investor relations.
Questioned about the possibility of United Rentals expanding internationally, Plummer said Latin America, Europe and Asia will be in focus and the company would move in line with objectives it has set. “The only certain commitment is that at some point we will be a global company,” Plummer said.
Peter Douglas, U.K. operations director of Nationwide Platforms, and Nationwide U.K. director Mark Kelly talked about common risks found on jobsites and with equipment. Douglas and Kelly said daily challenges such as dealing with batteries or spreader plates of up to 50 kg, and operators jumping off equipment because of unsuitable egress points. Douglas said Nationwide has worked with manufacturers to address these concerns, enabling Nationwide Platforms to reduce accidents by two-thirds.
Joy Jones, principal inspector of UK Health and Safety Executive called on the industry to reinforce safe practices. “Our site visits often reveal people making excuses or relying on their risk assessment,” said Jones. “Your industry is based on safety and needs to be based on experience from the field.”
The next IPAF Summit will be held with the International Awards for Powered Access in Washington, D.C., March 26, 2015. More details can be found at www.iapasummit.info.