26/11/2013 - 16:32 pm

IPAF Calls on Minister to Review HSE Response to Industry Accidents


In response to a call from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) UK Council, CEO and managing director Tim Whiteman has issued a letter to the UK’s Minister of State for Employment, Esther McVey MP, who holds responsibility for the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), asking her to urgently review the time taken by the HSE to respond to a fatal accident involving a MEWP (mobile elevating work platform) in June 2013.

In the letter Whiteman expresses the extreme concern of IPAF’s UK Council over the delay taken by the HSE in reporting any information regarding the accident and the potentially negative effect this could have on the industry that prides itself on the highest safety standards and professionalism in order to ensure that people working at height remain safe.

On behalf of the IPAF UK Council, Whiteman calls on the minister to review why it is taking so long for any information about this incident to be released and to institute measures to ensure that preliminary information about fatal accidents be released in a timely fashion to ensure that lessons can be learned and appropriate measures taken.

He said: “It is now five months since the fatal accident took place and no information or data has been released to the industry. This delay is not acceptable; it leads to confusion and concern in the industry and can even lead to people considering the use of alternative, less safe methods of performing temporary work at height.” He added: “IPAF’s members and staff represent an enormous pool of industry knowledge and expertise. They stand ready to assist in any way possible to ensure that appropriate resources and skills are available for such investigations.”

The letter also draws parallels between the powered access and the aviation industry; as MEWPs are used to lift people into the air, if something goes wrong, the consequences can easily be fatal. IPAF’s voluntary accident reporting programme, similar to that of the aviation sector, aims to share safety information for the greater good of all in the industry. Visit www.ipaf.org/accident for more information.

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