All PAL (Powered Access Licenses) issued by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) for training on or after Jan. 1, 2015, will be machine-readable “Smart” PAL cards. The move aims to improve site safety as Smart PAL cards may be used to ensure that only trained operators can use mobile elevating work platforms and mast-climbing work platforms on jobsites.
The Smart PAL Card is marked by a wireless icon and has a chip embedded in it. The data stored on the card, such as the operator name, number and categories trained in, is also printed on the card, which means that the Smart card can still be used as a standard version.
The data in the chip can be read by a card reader fitted to the machine. The reader can be set up to accept certain the data, which in turn will allow the machine to be operated. This means that an aerial machine can be programmed to start only if the operator has the correct training..
“It is not compulsory to fit car readers on machines and the PAL card is a recognized qualification on many jobsites,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “The smartcard technology brings more options and opens up possibilities to make machine access safer and machine use more secure.”
PAL cards are issued to operators who successfully complete the IPAF training program after passing a written and a hands-on test. They are valid for five years and show the machine categories that operators have been trained in. More than 100,000 PAL cards are issues annually through IPAF-approved training centers worldwide.
The validity of a card can be checked by using the online verification tool at www.ipaf.org/checkpal.