Karin Nars of Dinolift has been named president of International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) – the first woman to hold this post. She succeeds Norty Turner of United Rentals, who steps down following his extended term as president that began in October 2019.
Mr Turner takes over from Nick Selley of AFI-Uplift in the ‘ex officio’ role of immediate past president on the IPAF board, with Mr Selley stepping down from the board. In addition, JLG’s Karel Huijser has been appointed as IPAF deputy president and Kai Schliephake of Partnerlift as IPAF vice president.
In her inaugural address as IPAF president, Ms Nars said, “After a trying two-year period, the world is currently facing a new challenge – the repercussions of which no-one can predict. Therefore, we should take pride in being a global organisation committed to promoting safety and cooperation.
“Our purpose from the very beginning has been to make sure that everyone who works at height, at the end of each working day, returns home safely to their family. 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 knowledge and information.”
She further highlighted that the pandemic “has shown us the importance of having a strong digital presence and creating digital processes – from training and eLearning to how we interact with our partners. This work includes the further development of our ePAL app, which is a valuable tool for interaction with machine operators with important safety messaging.
“The accident reporting system is now receiving input from more countries and in more languages; with a direct link via the ePAL app on an operator’s mobile device, we can put even greater focus on the reporting of near misses and the prevention of serious accidents. This, I believe, is an excellent example of how data can be harnessed to increase awareness of work practices that compromise safety. Safety is a joint effort based on respect and openness – everyone stepping up to improve it should be heard.”
Ms Nars added that she takes “special pride” in being the first woman president at IPAF. “Lasse Godenhielm, my father, 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 I could reach my dreams because I was a woman. 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. I believe IPAF is in a good position to promote equal opportunities for all – and I aim to use my voice as president to promote such a programme.”