IPAF Innovate Workshop 2019

July 16 - 17, 2019, Chicago, Illinois, USA

IPAF North American Regional Council presents:

IPAF Innovate Workshop 2019
“Innovation doesn’t happen by itself”
2019 Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) Workshop Challenge and Awards

Innovation doesn’t happen by itself

Tired of listening to others and not being heard? Do you have knowledge and experience that can be shared with others that can assist in creating solutions to known industry issues?

The Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) Industry is blessed with many experienced, creative and passionate workers who may not have the access to be heard or have their ideas vetted on how we can bring more improvements to the safe and productive use of powered access equipment. That opportunity is here.

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) will host a unique event beginning Noon July 16 and concluding Noon July 17 in Chicago at our INNOVATE 2019 event. All participants will participate in workshops to create/develop a means to improve our industry addressing one of 10 key current issues identified.
Mechanics, drivers, sale person, managers, operators – all industry stakeholders have the opportunity to have their voice heard, share their ideas and collaborate with others as equal participants in the creation of industry solutions. Register online now and identify your top three topics that you would LIKE to work on with others and we will try to accommodate all if possible with their selection.
Participants will be placed in one of ten teams by topic and together each team will develop a means to improve the industry addressing the topic of the group. Each team will present their result to the entire group who will vote on the best innovation.
Networking, sharing and learning, and the opportunity to make a difference are all benefits each participant will gain from attending this event. No sitting for hours listening to others, rather ‘getting your hands dirty’ and directly being a part of ‘getting something done”.

IPAF Innovate Program

Download the full program now (pdf)

July 16
  • 09:00 – 12:00 | Registration & Coffee
  • 09:00 – 12:00 | Innovation Stations & Simulators
  • 11:00 | Registration & Lunch
  • 12:00 – 12:15 | Welcome & Introductions
  • 12:15 – 17:00 | Workshops
  • 17:00 - 19:15 | All attendees have the opportunity to visit the Innovation Stations & demo VR simulators
  • 18:15 – 19:15 | Cocktail Reception
  • 19:15 – 21:00 | Dinner
July 17
  • 08:00 – 11:00 | Work Group Presentations
  • 11:00 – 11:30 | Voting
  • 11:30 – 12:00 | Awards and Close

Innovation Stations

During the first day of Innovate, come and immerse yourself in the 'Innovation Stations', which features new technology and products. 

One station by United Academy powered by United Rentals will feature virtual reality MEWP simulators, including a demo of the new IPAF PAL+ advanced MEWP operator test.

The other stations will see innovative products from U Keyless, Trackunit and Lombardi Lift.

The stations will be open all day on July 16, from 9am. 

Workshop Topics

The workshop topics will be facilitated by an IPAF North American Regional Council member. Click on each topic for more information.

During registration you will be able to choose your preferred workshop topics. We will be keeping the groups balanced and as such, you may not get your initial choices. You will be notified before the event on your assigned group.

Electrocution is a known hazard that is a leading cause of fatalities associated with MEWP operations, yet, we have to live with the required source of power to the projects we work on. How can we continue to take better measures to stay clear of the path of this known hazard?

The industry has long stated that the ability to replace and hire qualified service technicians is a growing problem? How do we develop and attract the next generation of MEWP service to our industry and ensure that MEWPs are properly maintained and required?

NEW requirements for a user to address access, preparation and maintenance of the site, as required, to include an assessment that the support surface is adequate to support the weight of the MEWP. How can the industry assist users with understanding and compliance with this responsibility?

MEWP familiarization has long been a requirement that was too often misunderstood as MEWP training. Soon a user must request familiarization from a dealer to receive it and it must be provided to all operators prior to authorization to operate. How can we assist users and operators in understanding the value and compliance with this responsibility?

Required inspections, such as operator daily prestart inspections and owner annual inspections too often fall short of compliance following OEM instructions. How can we assist both operators and owners to successfully meet their responsibility?

A user’s safe use program includes the proper selection of equipment for the task. How can that occur if they are unaware of the options in the market for equipment and accessories to address the many challenges a job can require?

How could the development of certain ‘smart’ PPE technology help prevent certain known MEWP accidents from occurring?ex. Hard hats that help prevent crushing hazards, lanyards that notify the near public that a fall has occurred, etc.

What can be done to ensure that all platform occupants are wearing required fall protection and are attached to the anchorage system that is provided with boom lifts while operating?

With MEWP rentals continuing to grow in the industry (over ownership), there is a continued need to ensure that operators are properly trained before operating takes place.Perhaps tech/innovation can help us here?

The new requirement for anyone monitoring and supervising MEWP operators will require every MEWP user to get their supervisors trained by Dec 2019. How can the industry raise awareness and support their meeting this requirement?

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it – all participants were ‘leaning-in’ and innovating ways to improve our industry.”

Ebbe Christensen of Reachmaster and Chair of IPAF’s North American Regional Council, talking about IPAF Innovate 2018

First IPAF Innovate event is a beacon of success

IPAF Innovate Workshop 2018

The IPAF North America Regional Council presented its first industry workshop event in Houston Texas October 16-17 and the new Innovate event received great reviews from the attendees.

The event was open to all industry stakeholders – from CEOs to equipment operators or service technicians, from manufacturers to end users – and provided the opportunity to both share and listen to the ideas of others on key industry issues.

For this inaugural event, ten different topics were identified, attendees preregistered to be part of one of the ten groups, and the first afternoon was a workshop format that allowed each group to collaborate on their chosen topic to decide on a key issue to address and develop a potential solution. Each group worked together for hours and developed solutions that were presented to all attendees the following morning.

After the completion of the workshop, each group presented their solutions to all in attendance, who then voted for the idea that would be supported by the resources of the industry. Tony Groat, IPAF’s North America Regional Manager, says of the event: “The presentations were informative and delivered with passion. It was engaging to be part of the workgroup focused on one topic and then to have the opportunity to listen to everyone’s ideas and then select the idea that should move forward.”

Ebbe Christensen of Reachmaster, Chair of IPAF’s North American Regional Council, adds: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it – all participants were ‘leaning-in’ and innovating ways to improve our industry.”

Book Online Now

IPAF Member

  • Workshop, drinks reception, dinner and evening entertainment
Book Now


  • Workshop, drinks reception, dinner and evening entertainment
Book Now

The Venue

Sheraton Suites Chicago O'Hare
6501 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018, USA
+1 847-699-6300

Special Room Rate
Available July 12 - 19, 2019
129 USD - 159 USD per night
Book your room online now


Boost your brand by being a sponsor of an IPAF event!


For sponsorship opportunities download the brochure or please contact Faith Cobaine on +44 (0)15395 66700 or faith.cobaine@ipaf.org or Tony Groat, IPAF North America Regional Manager on +1 5182802486 or tony.groat@ipaf.org.

The sooner you book, the more coverage your brand will receive and your logo will instantly be added to the event website and be included in pre-event promotion.

IPAF North American Regional Council Members

  • Chris Beasley
    Sales & Business Development Mnrg - IPA, TVH
  • Ebbe Christensen
    President, Reachmaster
  • Randy DeCoteau
    Engineering Manager, Terex AWP
  • James Dorris
    VP Health, Safety, Environment & Sustainability (HSES), United Rentals Inc
  • Matthew Eckstine
    Director of Operations, Eckstine & Assoc
  • Forrest Hester
    Chief Development Officer, Tutus, LLC
  • Mark Hinkel
    President, Institute For Aerial Lift Safety
  • William Holler
    Senior Vice President, The Horton Group
  • David Kesser
    President, Teupen North America
  • Jen Lombard
    President, Lizzy Lifts
  • Ian McGregor
    Director of Product Safety, Skyjack Inc - (Canada)
  • Kevin O'Shea
    Director of Safety, Hydro Mobile Inc - (Canada)
  • Scott Sasser
    Sales/Product Manager, Palfinger - Platforms Division
  • Jeff Stachawoik
    Director of Safety Training , Sunbelt Rentals
  • Greg Strid
    Safety Director , Mastclimbers LLC
  • Tom Trinen
    President, Service One Access
  • Tony Groat
    North America - Regional Manager, IPAF