Safety Campaign Urges "Spread the Load!"

Sept. 15, 2011
A new safety campaign from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) urges proper assessment of ground conditions and the correct use of stabilizers, outriggers and spreader plates for boom-type aerial work platforms.

“AWPs are generally very safe and stable,” noted IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “However, incorrect set-up can cause instability and lead to overturning. This is often the result of inadequate ground assessment, poor selection of spreader plates, or incorrect positioning of outriggers. The ‘Spread the Load!’ campaign sets out to give clear and practical guidance on when and how to use spreader plates.”

IPAF’s “Spread the Load!” campaign is built around two simple and straightforward principles:

· Spreader plates always should be used with boom-type aerial work platforms (AWPs) when fully supported on their outriggers.

· Spreader plates should be used with all other AWPs that have outriggers unless a risk assessment indicates they are not necessary.

The campaign started as an initiative of the IPAF UK Hire Committee’s Spreader Plates Sub-Group. Several campaign tools, available in different languages, have been developed to spread the message, including leaflets, posters, stickers and a video. These resources can be viewed and downloaded at

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