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IPAF Access awards celebrate the winners
Contributed IPAF

Close to 400 access industry professionals attended the first ever International Awards for Powered Access (IAPAs) in Dublin on April 2, 2009, with big winners including Riwal, Netherlands (Access Rental Company of the Year); JLG (product of the year for the LiftPod); Denis Ashworth and John Fuller (jointly awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award); and Mauro Potrich of CTE, Italy (IPAF Instructor of the Year).

Other winners included Andy Studdert of US-based NES Rentals (IPAF Safety Champion of the Year) and UK-based A-Plant (Access Industry Training Award). Atlanta-based Mastclimbers took the Mast Climbing Work Platform Achievement Award and Camillo Vismara, Switzerland won for the Best Marketing Campaign for IPAF Training.

"The powered access industry has world class companies and our international panel of judges has rewarded the winners of this year's IAPAs with the recognition they deserve," said Tim Whiteman, IPAF managing director. "Access companies around the world should enter for an award in 2010."

The awards were jointly organised by Access International and International Powered Access Federation, IPAF.

The 2010 IAPAs will be held in London. The date and venue will be announced shortly.

Here is the full list of winners:

The Access Rental Company of the Year

Riwal: the Netherlands-based firm has a strong base in some of  Europe's major access markets - but it also puts effort into developing new territory. In 2008, it established operations in Brazil, the Baltic States, Poland and Croatia. Of Riwal, the judges said: "This is a top quality firm, producing a first-rate performance. It is playing a leading role in developing rental in new markets."

Access International Product of the Year

JLG Industries' LiftPod: is a small lift that is a safer, more productive alternative to ladders. With a working height of up to 4.2 m (14 ft), the LiftPod comprises three sections which are easy to transport and carry. The platform is raised either using a battery pack or by a standard 18 V power tool.

IPAF Safety Champion of the Year

Andy Studdert CEO of NES Rentals in the USA: has made safety a paramount consideration. Since taking over at NES in 2004, Andy has made safety a top priority: creating a ‘safety first' culture at the company through training programmes, award schemes and industry safety initiatives. Of Mr Studdert, the judges said, "He has taken the vast safety and technological expertise he gained in the airline industry and used it to exceptionally good effect in the rental business."

Access Industry Training Award

A-Plant: has made itself one of the UK access industry's most successful ‘one-stop-shops' for training. In 2008 the company trained over 3,700 customer employees, and held over 4,500 training days for its 2,000 staff. It also invested in a new National Customer Training Centre.

Contribution to Safe Working at Height - Manufacturer

Skyjack: has showed huge commitment to creating a safe access industry and has an excellent track record of supporting training and safety initiatives. Skyjack was described as "totally committed and pro-active and always involved in championing the cause of safety and training".

Contribution to Safe Working at Height - Rental Company

Lavendon Access Services: has long taken a very proactive stance towards safety, both for its employees and its customers. It recently launched its ‘Safety Starts with You' campaign which included the appointment of a health and safety representative at every depot, monthly safety presentations and a focus on machine safety - plus a health and safety seminar for its main customers.

Access International Lifetime Achievement Awards

Dennis Ashworth: began as a pioneering production and design engineer with Simon in 1953. He was instrumental in designing many of the earliest and most important European access platforms and at the same time became a well-known and important figure in the development of standards for the industry around the world.

John Fuller: recently retired from Genie Industries after a successful 27-year career in the access business. He first entered the industry in 1981 and was Genie's first ever employee in the UK, helping introduce powered access into the UK. Over his career he gained the total respect of colleagues, competitors and customers.

Mast Climbing Work Platform Achievement Award

Mastclimbers Inc: Bobby Reece, Mike Pitt and Kevin O'Shea have created a company that is both promoter of the mast climbing work platform worldwide, and at the forefront of efforts to ensure the safe use of mast climbers wherever they are operating, especially in the North American market.

Best Marketing Campaign for IPAF Training

Camillo Vismara: an IPAF training centre near Lugano, has been a highly effective promoter of IPAF operator training, making it the number one IPAF training body in Switzerland. The judges praised this winner for an outstanding professional performance.

IPAF Instructor of the Year

Mauro Potrich: the safety and training manager at CTE in Italy has been the driving force behind CTE's successful operator training business, which is now the largest in Italy, and has spearheaded efforts to promote operator training. The winner was described by the judges as his country's training star.