North American aerial work platform manufacturers and rental companies met November 11 to discuss aerial work platform operator training. The International Powered Access Federation convened the meeting and acted as secretary for the group.

The meeting was prompted by a keynote address given at the APEX conference, in September, which discussed the need for some form of standardized training for AWP operators and called for action by manufacturers to promote standardized training as the surest way of minimizing the risk of accidents. The purpose of the November meeting was to discuss how operator training standards can be raised and to investigate whether it is possible to agree on minimum standards of operator training.

Participants reviewed current national and international regulations and standards, heard how other industries address training, and discussed different aspects of training. During discussions, the group uncovered multiple issues that need to be analyzed and researched before any recommendations can be made. Included among those issues was a review of the activities of other trade associations, governmental bodies, unions and others involved in AWP operator training and benchmarking “best practices.”

IPAF agreed to facilitate future meetings and, along with volunteers from the group, work on the research requested. The group agreed to meet again during The Rental Show in Atlanta, March 2009, to review the additional information.