The IPAF Summit and the IAPA Awards 2022 brought with them a double celebration for Dinolift, with Karin Nars’ groundbreaking appointment and the DINO 230VTH picking up a prestigious award.
Photo credit: IPAF
The IPAF Summit and the International Awards for Powered Access (IAPAs) were held on the 10th of March in London. Organised in-person after a two-year gap, the event was a roaring success with more than 350 attendees delighted to see each other in the flesh once again. The theme of the event was ‘The Evolution of Safety’, in which several speakers tackled this critical subject from the point of view of rental companies, manufacturers and trainers.
For Dinolift, the event gave two exceptional reasons to celebrate. Managing Director Karin Nars was elected president of IPAF, while DINO 230VTH won Product of the Year in the vehicle/trailer mounted category!
The fact that the 2020 event was cancelled, and in 2021 the summit was held virtually might have influenced the turnout this year. Peter Douglas, CEO and Managing Director of IPAF, and his team were responsible for the arrangements.
“Usually, we have people who drop out at the last minute. But this year, it was the opposite, and we even run out of space,” Douglas says. “The number of people who came, the engagement, the atmosphere was amazing after three years of not being able to get together. It was simply phenomenal.”
(l to r) Karel Huijser from JLG, Peter Douglas, CEO at IPAF, Dinolift’s Karin Nars, and Kai Schliephake from PartnerLIFT at the IPAF Summit.
Photo credit: IPAF
Safety, digitalisation and sustainability
The summit was opened with the Annual General Meeting and the new president’s appointment. In her inaugural speech, Nars thanked Norty Turner, the former president of IPAF, for his contribution and outlined the causes the organisation will be focusing on during her presidency. The theme of the summit echoed in her speech from the start:
“Our purpose – from the very beginning – has been to make sure that everybody who works at height, at the end of the working day, returns home safely to their families,” Nars stated. “Our purpose also encourages us to work together and make a difference that goes beyond our industry.”
IPAF will continue to move towards greater digitalisation – especially new ways of sharing information and knowledge, Nars continued, referring to the training programmes, accident reporting portal and the IPAF-created ePALapp.
At the summit, IPAF launched its targeted safety campaign ‘Don’t Fall For It!’ for 2022, which emphasizes the importance of working safely and avoiding falls while working on MEWPs.
“We chose the Evolution of Safety as the theme since because of COVID, businesses have changed their ways of working and, in some cases, safety might have taken a back seat,” Douglas points out. “Other big topics for us are sustainability and digitalisation. Although they are very important, we shouldn’t lose focus on safety.”
Peter Douglas believes it is important to encourage young women to come and work in the industry.
Photo credit: IPAF
Promoting equal opportunities
Nars is the first female to be elected as IPAF’s president. Helping other women and girls to find their way to the sector and promoting equal opportunities for everybody will be one of her key focus areas as president.
“My father, Lasse Godenhielm, who was the president of IPAF at the turn of the millennium, always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and work hard. I never doubted that I could reach my dreams because I was a woman,” she said in her speech. “That’s why I would like every girl and young woman who wants to work in our industry to be offered that chance and to receive the support to do so.”
After being a long-time board member of IPAF, the title will bring Nars a host of new responsibilities. She won’t be facing them alone, as she will be working in close collaboration with Peter Douglas and his team.
“The industry is very male-dominated, especially at senior level. For the past nine years, Karin has been a fantastic addition to the community,” Douglas says. “Choosing a female president is a landmark, but at the same time I've always believed that one should choose the best person for the job. Karin is a top person, just like her father was.”