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Accident reporting marks landmark progress

Safety should always be the main priority for any business in the powered access industry.

In the past 12 months our sector has been advanced by a renewed commitment to reporting all accidents and near misses to IPAF’s central database.

For some time the recording of all accidents and near misses has formed a central part of our approach to welfare and wellbeing at Nationwide Platforms.

The data we’ve captured has been used to make real improvements to our work, as well as monitoring our progress towards our goal of being the world’s leading safe access solutions provider.

When IPAF’s UK Council was formed last year I was incredibly pleased to work closely with my industry colleagues to make this important commitment a condition of all UK IPAF members.

Gathering safety data

One year on, the data gathered has already begun to provide a priceless resource that is helping reveal previously hidden trends right across our industry.

In turn, this information gives IPAF the chance to provide practical reflections and guidance, creating a fresh opportunity for improvement for all those who want to make changes.

“While many businesses may have been aware of individual cases, the information is now available for us to take industry-wide steps forward”

In the first few months of 2013 alone it was revealed that a disproportionate number of incidents were associated with deliveries and transportation, including the loading of unloading of equipment.

While many businesses in our sector may have been aware of individual cases, the information is now available for us to take industry-wide steps forward.

A moment of change

This is an area we’ve worked towards improving over a number of years, with our approaches ranging from investing in our delivery fleet to enhancing the training provided to our employees.

Now as an industry we can begin to take fresh steps forward for the benefit of all our stakeholders, whether that comes in the form of new policies, advanced training or identifying fresh approaches to working.

For the moment it may be unclear what overall long-term benefits accident reporting will have on our industry, or even, for the moment, where exactly it will help us improve most.

I do believe, however, that our industry’s commitment to accident reporting in 2013 will prove to be a turning point we can all look back on as a real moment of change.  

Peter Douglas is UK operations director at Nationwide Platforms and chairman of the UK Council of the International Powered Access Federation

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