Access platforms continue to perform safely

Over the last few years, powered access platforms have dramatically reduced the number of fatal accidents involving elevated workers. The latest data shows that the trend for safer working continues.

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has released the 2015 accident data. This data confirms that powered access platforms are still one of the safest ways to perform temporary work at height.

The latest figures show that the number of reported fatalities in 2015 was 68, giving a fatal injury rate of 0.035. Of the 68 reported MEWP fatalities for 2015, the main causes were overturning, falls from height, electrocution and entrapment.

There was a drop in numbers last year (2014) to 64 fatalities but this year’s figure matches the 68 reported fatalities in 2013. The breakdown from 2013-2015 shows that the main causes of fatalities were: fall from height (31%), overturn (27%), electrocution (15%) and entrapment (15%).

According to the IPAF calculations of the access platform fatal injury rate, whilst the use of access equipment has increased, the fatal injury rate has fallen. The current statistics are based on rental fleets but similar data is being gathered for user owned equipment.

The fatal injury rate is calculated based on the following factors:
– Estimated rental fleet size from IPAF market reports
– Estimated average utilisation rates per country and worldwide -the rate is the share of the fleet out on rent at any time over a year
– Average days worked per year (5 days a week for 50 weeks a year)
– The number of fatalities involving MEWPs in a year, based on the IPAF accident reporting project

Accident reporting

The IPAF accident reporting project launched in 2012. The aim is to improve the gathering an analysis of accident data relating to powered access platforms. Since then, businesses that work at height have been encouraged to voluntarily submit accident information in order to process an accurate picture of health and safety issues.

The information is already being used for a number of life saving purposes including

– Improving legislation and safety guidance

–  Supporting training for workers and operatives

– Improving the design and manufacture of access platform safety features

How to get involved In Access Platform Safety

The IPAF database is still the only central point for the recording of accident data. It relies on voluntary contributions from industries that work at height using access equipment. Manufacturers, operatives, rental companies, contractors and individuals can report fatal or serious accidents. The gathered data is confidential and only used for access platform safety improvement.

Go to www.ipaf.org to find put more about accident reporting and how your business can help to save lives and benefit from accurate and informative health and safety data.