Last reviewed 5 March 2021

A new digital app for users of mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) and mast climbing work platform (MCWP) equipment marks a major stride forward in its drive for greater sector sustainability, the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has claimed.

Set to be launched in April, the app will be free to use and will feature a digital IPAF PAL Card, operator logbook and operator safety guides.

It will initially be offered in English with other languages to follow. The app will be available for Apple iOS and Android devices and will be updated with additional features as usage demands and developing technology allows.

It will allow operators to receive the latest best practice guidance and will ultimately allow construction managers to quickly and easily verify an operative’s qualifications, as well as for the operator to log and share their equipment time digitally.

IPAF CEO Peter Douglas said: “When IPAF launched the PAL Card as a plastic credit card-sized identification containing the holder’s name, photo and categories of machine they were qualified to operate, it was revolutionary. Since then technology has evolved, which makes this latest step forward possible.”

Given that the latest plastic PAL Cards are all smart capable, can be used to secure access to machines for authorised and trained personnel, and most recently were updated to be able to carry the CSCS holographic logo, giving access to all Build UK sites to qualifying operators, the move to a digital solution is a natural evolution, he concluded.

The app will also phase out paper certification of qualifications and logging of machine time and will replace the printed paper version of IPAF’s operator safety guide.

It will speed up the processing time and resource required to issue training candidates with their PAL Card and certification, which at present must be replaced each time a new machine category qualification is added or part of their training is renewed.