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    INDUSTRY BODY REVIEWS ACCESS TOWER STANDARDS

    PASMA undertakes fundamental review of tower assembly methods

    The Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) is undertaking a major review of the fall prevention methods currently approved by the association and HSE for assembling and dismantling towers.

    The trade association represents all sectors of the mobile access tower industry and, as part of a remit to regularly review and refine its guidance, it will examine and evaluate all aspects of the two assembly methods methods in an exhaustive process which is underway now.

    3T (Through the Trap) and AGR (Advanced Guardrail)

    Historically, the 3T (Through the Trap) method has been the most popular choice of users. This choise was determined in part by the fewer AGR (Advanced Guardrail) product offerings available in the marketplace.

    Both the 3T and AGR methods have a proven safety record. PASMA has never received a single report of any incident, accident or fatality resulting from the use of either method.

    3T and AGR remain the only two methods currently approved by PASMA and HSE for assembling and dismantling towers, and both methods are fully supported by PASMA’s industry standard training scheme.

    The association sponsored public debates at the 2010 Safety & Health Expo and produced a wide-ranging interim technical report. Two days of practical assessments will now take place when both methods will be assessed and appraised against a common set of criteria.

    Any issues requiring further study – for example, ergonomic aspects or structural aspects – will then be referred to an acknowledged expert. PASMA is consulting widely with all stakeholders and the findings are expected to be published in the latter part of 2010.

    HSE encouraged by the PASMA review 

    HSE Inspector Justine Lee, with special responsibility in the areas of working at height and fall prevention said: “We are very encouraged at PASMA’s responsible and measured approach to reviewing progress in fall prevention in the mobile access tower industry.

    We look forward to positively contributing once again to the review process and in working with the association to further minimise the risk of fall in the coming years.”

    PASMA MD Peter Bennett said: “Against the background of the recent House of Lords Merits Committee Enquiry which looked into the downstream and unintended effects of the implementation of the Work at Height Regulations, any recommendations regarding fall prevention will, of necessity, take into account the benefits and burdens – including the financial and technical implications – placed on manufacturers, hirers, purchasers and, of course, end users.

    He continues: “In coming to any conclusion we need to be sure we have addressed all the issues, as far as it is possible to identify and understand them, so that we safeguard against any displaced risks further down the line.”

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