IPAF CEO questions HSE over fatal boom collapse

By Euan Youdale26 November 2013

In response to a call from IPAF's UK Council, Tim Whiteman, IPAF CEO and managing director, has issued a letter to the UK Minister of State for Employment Esther McVey MP. It calls on the minister to urgently review the time taken to investigate an accident this year in which the operator of a Genie Z-135/70 boom was killed.

The incident occurred at UK rental company Kimberly Access' West London depot on Wednesday 5 June, when the boom collapsed onto the M25 highway in Buckinghamshire. Kimberly promptly grounded its fleet of Genie Z-135/70 booms.

In the letter Mr Whiteman expressed IPAF’s UK Council's 'extreme concern' over the delay taken by the HSE in reporting any information regarding the accident. He said this could have a potentially negative effect on the powered access industry, which prides itself on the highest safety standards and professionalism.

Mr Whiteman demanded to know why it is taking so long for information about the incident to be released and called on it to introduce measures to ensure that preliminary information about fatal accidents be released in a timely fashion so that lessons could be learned quickly.

He said, “It is now five months since the fatal accident took place and no information or data has been released to the industry. This delay is not acceptable; it leads to confusion and concern in the industry and can even lead to people considering the use of alternative, less safe methods of performing temporary work at height.”

Mr Whiteman added, “IPAF’s members and staff represent an enormous pool of industry knowledge and expertise. They stand ready to assist in any way possible to ensure that appropriate resources and skills are available for such investigations.”

The letter also draws parallels between the powered access and the aviation industry. Mr Whiteman pointed out that MEWPS are used to lift people into the air, if something goes wrong, the consequences can easily be fatal.

Click here to read the letter in full

IPAF’s voluntary accident reporting programme, similar to that of the aviation sector aims to share safety information for the greater good of all in the industry. Visit www.ipaf.org/accident for more information.

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