The Phoenix facility of Sunstate Equipment Co has become a training centre for the not-for-profit International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).
Several members of Sunstate's training department recently became approved instructors for the operator training program of AWPT (American Work Platform Training) Inc. The AWPT program is based on the ISO-certified IPAF program, which is used outside North America but is slightly modified to include additional training on current requirements of the American National Standards Institute, US Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Canadian Standards Association.
"We've offered aerial work platform training since 1993," says Chris Watts, Sunstate president and chief operating officer. "Last year, we trained over 8,000 people and about 60% of them were on aerials ... The AWPT program is the Cadillac (of training systems). It's much more thorough and really gets into depth regarding safety, both what to do and why you should do it."
Sunstate Equipment employs more than 1,200 staff - including 10 full time in training positions - and operates 58 locations in the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee. Sunstate's inventory of rental forklifts includes material lifts, pallet jacks, reach forklifts, vertical lift forklifts and warehouse forklifts.
"We're planning to open several other training centres in addition to the one in our Phoenix headquarters," Watts notes. "We have even developed a new safety-focused logo that we hope will remind everyone that you should put 'Safety First & Always'."
The Sunstate location becomes the 28th IPAF-designated training centre in the US. Sunstate Equipment became an IPAF member in 2010.
Crooklands, England-based IPAF has two US locations: the AWPT Inc subsidiary in Schenectady, New York and the IPAF US membership office in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.