New digital operator app for MEWP and MCWP users set to be a game-changer for safety and efficiency
A NEW digital app from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) for users of MEWP and MCWP equipment is set to be a ‘game-changer’ for work site safety and efficiency, marking major step forward in IPAF’s drive for greater sector sustainability.
Due to be launched next month, IPAF’s free-to-use ePAL app will feature a digital IPAF PAL Card, operator logbook and operator safety guides. It will also allow operators to receive the latest IPAF safety information and best-practice guidance, and will ultimately allow construction managers to quickly and easily verify an operative’s qualifications, as well as allowing the operator to log and share their equipment time digitally.
The ePAL app signals a step forward in IPAF’s ongoing drive to boost sustainability as it shifts away from issuing plastic, credit-card sized PAL Cards via the post to every training candidate successfully completing or renewing an IPAF operator course.
The app will also phase out paper certification of qualifications and logging of machine time, and replace the printed paper version of IPAF’s operator safety guide.
Overall, the app will speed up the processing time and resource required to issue training candidates with their PAL Card and certification, which at present must be replaced each time a new machine category qualification is added or part of their training is renewed.
In 2020, IPAF passed the landmark of issuing 2 million PAL Cards globally; the digital version of the PAL Card will streamline the process and make it more environmentally sustainable, cutting the use of paper, ink, plastic, packaging and international shipping.
Peter Douglas, IPAF’s chief executive officer and managing director, commented: ‘When IPAF launched the PAL Card as a plastic credit card-sized identification containing the holder’s name, photo and categories of machine they were qualified to operate, it was revolutionary. Since then, technology has evolved, which makes this latest step forward possible.
‘Today, the latest plastic PAL Cards are all smart capable, can be used to secure access to machines for authorised and trained personnel, and most recently the cards were updated to be able to carry the CzCS holographic logo, giving access to all Build UK sites to qualifying operators.
‘Therefore, this wholesale move from a plastic PAL Card to a digital one is a natural evolution. Developing an operator app has been a key priority for IPAF since I took up post in 2019, and we were excited to team up with IPAF member Trackunit to bring their considerable technical expertise to bear on roll this out.
‘IPAF’s ePAL will bring benefits for operators and IPAF training centres alike, while allowing us to streamline and digitize our processes, including issuing and renewing IPAF PAL Cards and helping operators keep track of their machine operating experience via the digital logbook function. The app will also offer an easy way for operators to access the latest relevant safety information and best-practice technical guidance from IPAF.’
IPAF will launch the app in the UK and Ireland in April 2021. Initially, it will be offered in English with other languages to follow. It will be available for Apple iOS and Android devices and will be updated with additional features as usage demands and developing technology allows.