A reviewed and updated Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP) Good Practice Toolkit, which is published by the UK Contractors Group (UKCG), was issued at the end of June and now includes more guidance to help in the selection of platforms for different applications as well as more information on the requirements applicable to MEWPs for Managers. The requirements for ground conditions before using a MEWP are updated, which will be welcomed across the board.

The importance of PAL+

Powered Access Licence (PAL and PAL+) competence is also reviewed, underlining again the vital need for all IPAF PAL qualified operators to go on to achieve the PAL+ qualification within two years of their first licence being awarded.  In this way, they will be able to demonstrate that they have a higher understanding of how to cope with high-risk situations and anyone who is running a project where extra challenges arise are encouraged to ensure that only PAL+ or CPCS Experienced Worker blue card holders are working on site.

This has applied since 31 October 2013 to safety net riggers, steel erectors and associated trades working on UKCG sites. The Toolkit urges employers to make sure that all inexperienced workers or trainees using a MEWP to gain the experience needed to gain a PAL+ qualification can only work when supervised by someone who currently has the higher level licence.

Extra training is essential and easy to do

PAL+ is an additional day-long course which is very category specific and is aimed at anyone working in a higher-risk environment or anywhere that may offer additional challenges over and above the norm. Boss Training offer this and IPAF training courses, either on site or in their centres and find that they are very well-received by those who have been working at a height for a while with a basic qualification.

The important thing to remember with any health and safety training course, whichever awarding body is involved, is that keeping up to date is essential. Licences vary in their validity periods, but in any case, they should all be refreshed at regular intervals, without necessarily waiting until expiry. Equipment and situations change constantly and Boss are always updating and changing their courses to keep up; whether upgrading or refreshing a course, any worker will find new things to learn which they can apply in their day to day work.

Find out the course which is right for you

Most courses, not just for working at a height, have a variety of different ones to choose from – for managers and supervisors, for those employed directly in the specific sector and also for those who may come into contact with those who use it day to day. Boss feel that the more employees trained in the safe use of equipment or how to work safely in specific challenging or potentially hazardous environments, the safer everyone will be and to this end they make sure that all the newest guidelines are included in the courses they deliver, to make the workplace a safer place to be.