The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) announces the launch of its Global Safety Campaign for 2024, titled “CRUSHING CAN KILL!” The third Global Safety Campaign released during IPAF Head of Safety and Technical Brian Parker’s tenure aims to raise awareness and reduce entrapment and crushing incidents involving Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs), which have resulted in numerous fatalities and injuries over the past decade.  

Led by IPAF’s Brian Parker and Alana Paterson, Head of Health, Safety & Environment at Taylor Woodrow & Chair of the IPAF International Safety Committee, the campaign emphasises the importance of training, proper planning, and adherence to safety protocols when operating MEWPs and using pedestrian control mode.  

Statistics over the past decade revealed 118 fatalities, 16 major injuries, and 5 minor injuries attributed to entrapment incidents involving MEWPs. The occupations most affected include MEWP operators, delivery drivers and technicians/engineers, emphasising the need for comprehensive safety measures across a variety of applicable industries.  

In the last three years of fatal accident data, 68% of fatalities are attributed to 3a Mobile Vertical machines (Vertical lifts). While this is a significant shift from the previous data, IPAF is encouraged by new solutions coming onto the market for vertical type MEWPs.   

The campaign highlights common causes of entrapment incidents, such as poor planning, inadequate training, complacency, and equipment malfunctions. To mitigate these risks, IPAF advocates for task-specific risk assessments, the correct selection of MEWPs, training of operators, and documented practice/rehearsal of rescue procedures.  

Recognising the global reach of the campaign, IPAF has developed legislation-neutral guidance documents tailored for planners, employers, managers, supervisors, operators, rescuers, and training bodies. These resources aim to standardise safety practices worldwide and support the ongoing development of a new ISO standard for MEWP safety systems.  

Additionally, IPAF has released a new Toolbox Talk focusing on the risks associated with operating MEWPs from ground controls with a person in the MEWP platform, as well as new industry-leading guidance on the safe use of pedestrian controls. An Andy Access poster titled ‘Danger Keep Well Clear!’ has also been developed to reinforce the Toolbox Talk. These initiatives reaffirm IPAF’s commitment to continuously improving industry safety standards and reducing the incidence of entrapment and crushing related accidents.  

Reflecting on the Global Safety campaign release, IPAF Head of Safety and Technical Brian Parker commented: “We’re not just launching a Global Safety campaign; we’re reaching out to the individuals who stand on the front lines of safety every day—the MEWP operators and rescue personnel. Our aim is to give them the knowledge and tools they need to navigate their work environments safely and confidently. By ensuring that this campaign resonates with those directly using the platform, we’re taking an important step toward reducing and preventing entrapment and crushing related incidents.”  

As the campaign launches, IPAF urges industry participation, implementation of recommended safety measures, and the reporting of incidents to facilitate ongoing safety improvements. Together, we can prevent and reduce entrapment and crushing related incidents and safeguard the well-being of operators and platform occupants in MEWPs.  

For more information about IPAF’s Global Safety Campaign 2024 and access to campaign materials, click HERE