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The Access Industry Forum – a first step to safety

Many people within the work at height sector will be familiar with the Access Industry Forum. But I’ve no doubt there will be lots of people from a whole range of sectors reading this who haven’t heard of us or the work we do – so I thought this would be a good opportunity to introduce the Access Industry Forum and explain a bit more about what we do and how we can help you.

Written by Lorraine Brown, Marketing & PR Committee Chair, Access Industry Forum

Established in 2004, the Access Industry Forum (AIF for short) is the not-for-profit forum that represents the ten principal trade associations and federations involved in work at height. Our members include ATLAS, EPF, FASET, IPAF, IRATA, The Ladder Association, NASC, PASMA, SAEMA and WAHSA. That’s a lot of abbreviations I know! Each member organisation represents a different sector of the access industry and are the ‘go-to’ authorities in their respective fields. On a day-to-day basis each member generally operates individually, but when it comes to advancing safety, best practice and competency when working at height, we all come together with a common goal – we strive for a future where everyone who works at height comes back down safely. We all have a part to play to make that happen.

We actively support the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height that brings together MPs and Peers with government, industry leaders, trade associations, SMEs and contractors. The aim is to raise awareness of the risks of working at height, understand why accidents happen and propose effective, sensible measures to make work at height safer.  We’re committed to supporting the APPG throughout 2022 and I’d encourage you to do the same. Take a look at their website for further information and details of upcoming meetings (being held virtually for now), as you’re welcome to attend.

Of course we are also proud supporters of The No Falls Foundation, with many AIF members having already joined their Supporter Scheme. If you’re looking for a worthy cause to support this year, look no further, and help them continue their important work in the sector.

That’s a bit about the AIF, how can we help you?

  1. Think of the AIF as your first port of call for any work at height queries. As a central point of contact for all ten associations, we can point you in the right direction to get the information you need, please just ask!

  2. We also offer free guidance that you can download from our website. One resource I recommend you look it is ‘Safety Steps’, created by the Managing Risk Well group, a safety body within CONIAC, with input from the AIF. ‘Safety Steps’ is a series of guidance documents for different duty holders from client to designer, manager through to operatives. It starts with a range of questions to consider and provides prompts to help you evaluate the risks and issues when working at height can’t be avoided. They are available from our website.

  3. This year, we’re excited to be launching a series of webinars hosted by our members. Expect topics such as Managing Work at Height, Training & Competency and Temporary Works. While we’re still finalising the exact dates for these, make sure you’re following us on social media as I’ll be posting updates there first. You can find us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Working at height takes place all day, every day, and everywhere. Whatever sector you’re in, however big or small your business, and whatever method you’re using to work at height, we have a network of members who can help – feel free to contact the AIF or any one of our members when you need specific advice.

For more information, visit our website:  https://accessindustryforum.org.uk/

Lorraine Brown

Lorraine Brown

Lorraine has 20 years’ marketing experience, employed throughout that time with a number of access manufacturers, equipment suppliers, and health and safety consultancies. Now freelance, Lorraine chairs the AIF Marketing & PR Committee and offers marketing support to a number of work at height trade associations.

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