If you are signed up for an IPAF Operator course you might want some information on what you will be doing on the day, especially in the light of the changes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone likes to be prepared, both physically and mentally for any given assignment, with the added need for assurance in the light of our current situation. Eagle Platforms have fully Covid-safe facilities including an exclusive building entry and exit for visitors (roller shutters).
With social distancing and the need to avoid crowded classrooms, the theory part of the course may well be carried out online. The eLearning theory session now includes facial recognition software that eliminates the need to be present and identified in a classroom environment. The idea of a test may seem daunting, but there are only 30 questions in a multiple choice format and there will be a dry run, so as long as you give your full attention to the learning session you should be fine!
For the practical part of the test there will be a large, well ventilated training area that will allow for social distancing guidelines to be adhered to and for everyone to be and feel safe at all times. There are clear and strict provisions made to sanitise all equipment before and after use. The practical test is staggered at different times throughout the day to allow for smaller numbers on any given test. This is a factor that has already proved invaluable to businesses that are left short-staffed due to furloughing. In essence they will not lose delegates for an entire day, but rather a maximum of several hours for the practical test.
Everyone taking the course will be instructed on best practice when it comes to the safe operation, optimal selection and thorough inspection of MEWPs in the workplace. In addition all attendees are made aware of the best practice in the wearing and maintenance of their PPE, specifically safety harnesses.
The 3A/3B modules are the most popular in terms of attendance, but there is also a PAL+ course, that beefs up these modules to make them more relevant for operators who are tasked with using MEWPs on more challenging terrain and difficult environments.
After equipping themselves with the necessary safety kit each delegate will be introduced to the MEWPs that they are going to use for the practical learning and test. The instructor will help them get to grips with the safety features, structural parts and workings of the model they’re using and they will learn about maintenance checks and inspections. After this they will be able to get into the driver’s seat and have a practice run on the MEWP, involving attempting to avoid some cones and practicing common manoeuvres in a variety of positions to replicate site operation. When they’ve got to grips with the MEWP they will be asked to demonstrate their handling skills in a practical test, which will be the final hurdle before they obtain your PAL card.