The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has launched a Smart PAL (Powered Access License) Card which is machine-readable and can be used to ensure that only trained operators can use work platforms on site.
Available in different languages the Smart PAL Card looks the same as the standard PAL – which includes the operators name, number and categories trained in – but also has wireless icon and a microchip embedded within it which can be read by a card reader fitted to the access platform. The reader can be set up to accept certain data which in turn will allow the machine to be operated. This data includes whether or not the cardholder (operator) is trained, to what level and in which machine categories. Standard PAL Cards will continue to be issued and accepted on site.
No additional personal contact details are contained within the card. IPAF and its approved training centers keep any personal data secure in line with data protection legislation.
Using a Smart PAL Card along with a reader device can allow control of machine access and thereby improve site safety. Site managers can use the system to ensure that only correctly trained operators can operate equipment and also track who has used which machine for how long and prevent fraudulent use.
“The optional new smartcard technology will bring added benefits,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “The Smart PAL Card can be used as part of an electronic logbook of operator experience and can be linked to machine tracking systems. It brings exciting possibilities to make MEWP access safer and MEWP use more secure.”
Smart PAL Cards have been tested extensively on multiple machines by operators on site. They can be read by virtually all card readers and there are no restrictions on which smart card readers should be used. Operators or companies can specify if they wish to be issued with a Smart PAL Card or a standard PAL Card when booking courses with their IPAF-approved training center.