THE new president of the International Powered Access Federation has pledged to improve training during his term of office.
Steve Couling, the managing director of TIME-Versalift, was elected at the annual general meeting last month in Miami to succeed Wayne Lawson of JLG.
Couling said specialist training for the vehicle-mounted sector was one of his three goals for his two-year term. Other ambitions are online training programmes and the creation of more IPAF ‘country councils’ to enable regional forums for discussion and a local focus on issues important to those regions.
“The vehicle-mounted platform sector has further to go than most,” he noted. “There is still a far too relaxed approach to specialist training needs in some regions. This is an area that I will be personally trying to address during my term as president.”
With IPAF’s recent launch of an eLearning module as part of the AWPT operator training programme in the US and Canada, Couling described it as an exciting arena that IPAF needed to be involved in from the outset: “There are clear opportunities for IPAF to use this medium to reach even the most reluctant of regions to accept and adopt safer working practices and professional training programmes.”
The new president began his career in powered access in 1993, joining Simon Engineering. He initially sold Simon ‘Snorkel’ platforms to fire brigades across Europe then became general sales manager for Simon’s fire, utility and self-propelled business.
In 1998, he moved to UpRight, one of the ‘big three’ self-propelled machine manufacturers at the time and became vice-president of sales and marketing for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In 2005, he returned to the vehicle-mounted side of the access industry and became managing director of TIME-Versalift in the UK.
Couling has been involved with IPAF since his early days at Simon Engineering and joined the board of directors five years ago.
Launching the organisation’s 30th anniversary celebrations, he said: “I intend to re-define our original core objectives to all members and to remind everyone that IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation. The original objectives of IPAF are still true and they still hold water: We want to ensure our industry is safe, safe for all users of powered access equipment.”