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IPAF database highlights accident causes

11 Oct 12 There were 25 fatal accidents involving powered access platforms reported to the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) in the first nine months of 2012.

IPAF runs an accident reporting scheme that it encourages platform users worldwide to use to promote industry safety.

IPAF’s accident reporting project shows that there were 26 deaths resulting from 25 accidents worldwide involving mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), also known as aerial work platforms (AWPs), from January to September 2012.

Two of these accidents were in the UK. The USA reported the most accidents, at 15. In addition there were three reported in the Netherlands, and one each in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland.

Results for the last quarter reveal that there were seven fatalities from six accidents that were reported in the months of July, August and September. These accidents all involved boom-lift type platforms and the main causes were: electrocution (2), fall from platform (2), overturn (1) and entrapment (1). In one of the accidents involving electrocution, both the operator and a work colleague in the platform died. Together with three updates on the provisional half-year results announced in July, this brings the reported number of fatal accidents worldwide involving MEWPs/AWPs between January and September to 25.

Of these 25 accidents, 15 involved booms, seven involved vehicle mounts and three involved scissor lifts.

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The main causes were reported as: fall from platform (7), electrocution (6), overturn (5), mechanical/technical (4) and entrapment (3).

“There are nearly 1.5 million MEWPs/AWPs in use around the world, and while every death is a tragedy, powered access is still a very safe way to work at height,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “The analysis of accident data will allow the industry to become even safer.”

From January 2013, accident reporting becomes a condition of IPAF membership for UK companies.

Accidents are reported  online at the IPAF website .

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