22/03/2021 - 21:36 pm

IPAF has successful online Summit and IAPAs

Having been carried over from last year the IPAF Summit and Awards took place at an online event on 18 March 2020 hosted by Mark Durden-Smith a sports and lifestyle presenter.

Although, at times, slightly reminiscent of Eurovision Song Contests gone by, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative event and an opportunity to celebrate some of the best the access industry has to offer.

IPAF took the opportunity to launch its new ePAL app – designed to take operators’ PAL (Powered Access License) Cards out of their wallets and onto their phones.

Peter Douglas CEO of IPAF said, that going digital was the next step. The PAL Card was launched in 1993 and in 2013 the first Smart PALCard was presented although not mandated until 2015  and in 2014, IPAF introduction e-learning into its training portfolio.

Now the ePAL Mobile application has been realeased.

The ePAL app will lead to less administration for IPAF, training centres and end customers, which will impact the environment with a reduction in manufacture and distribution of physical assets – eliminating the need for replacement cards and certificates. Douglas said that at an estimation, “If we stacked all the plastic cards, wallets and certificates that we issue in a year, they’d be 130m high.”

But the new app is about more than cutting back waste – it will help operators keep an up-to-date record of their MEWP experience, which machines they have used and when. PAL Cards always came with a logbook, but these are rarely kept current, now the app will make it very easy for operators to add experience at the touch of a few buttons.

A mobile logbook in your pocket will make it easier for MEWP operators to not only prove their qualifications, but their experience  to employers.

The app also allows news updates to be fed direct to the users of the equipment along with toolbox talks and safety tips.

The ePAL app is being rolled out officially in March and April in the UK and Ireland but in order to increases adoption and improve the app going forward there will be a hiatus while a continual process of feedback and review is executed.

A three step process will enable the successful global roll out of ePAL: consultation with the relevant IPAF stakeholders in each country; involvement of the country regulators and industry representatives and communication to all layers of the industry.

To help move this forward and IPAF ePAL committee has been established: responsible for bringing its industry knowledge and experience to guiding the implementation and development of the IPAF ePAL app.

Peter Douglas will convene the ePAL committee, he said, “The committee’s function will include identifying and agreeing features for future release. Consideration must always be given to promoting the safe and effective use of powered access and for safety to be the number one priority.”

Members of the  ePAL Committee will become involved in the definition and development of the new industry APIs, digital access control initiatives and new business models. If you would like to volunteer email info@ipaf.org and ark you email for the attention of Peter Douglas.

The ePal app will be available on IOS and Android on 13 April. More information can be found at  www.ipaf.org/epal.

The IAPA winners were announced between presentations and the online format had clearly encouraged engagement albeit remotely – all the winners are listed below.

The 2022 Summit and IAPAs will take place in London – the exact date and venue are still to be announced. Because of the missed event in 2020 – entries to the awards categories will cover the previous two years to the next IAPA – 2020 and 2021.


IPAF Training Centre of the Year

  • Kompetenzzentrum für Arbeitssicherheit, Switzerland


IPAF Training Instructor of the Year

  • Andrew Williams – UTN Training


Access Photo of the Year

Sponsored by Media Access Solutions (MAS)

Winner Loxam operator Guillaume Thorel at the Port of LeHavre


Contribution to Safe Working at Height

  • Outriggerpads – online outrigger pad calculator


Product of the Year – Mast Climbing Work Platforms & Hoists

  • Scanclimber – Heavy Duty (MCWP- HD)


Product of the Year – Vehicle Mounted Platforms

  • Ruthmann – Steiger TB 300

Product of the Year – Scissor Lifts & Vertical Mast Platforms (low level access, vertical mast booms, pusharound platforms, stock pickers)

  • Snorkel – S3019E


Product of the Year – Self Propelled Booms & Atrium Lifts

  • Niftylft – HR17NE


Digital Development Award

  • Riwal – digital initiatives


Access Rental Company of the Year

  • Mateco, Luxembourg


The IAPA Innovative Technology Prize

  • Hinowa – TeleCrawler13


IPAF/Access International Lifetime Achievement Award

Awarded posthumously to Roger Wickens.



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