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    TRADE BODY URGES RESTRAINT ON LOW ACCESS EQUIPMENT

    Contractors urged to avoid one off designs and solutions for low access 

    The Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ & Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) is urging major contractors to await the publication of a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) in respect of low level access equipment rather than seeking “ad hoc, one off designs and solutions from individual manufacturers”.

    A technical committee is currently working with BSI to produce the specification in consultation with other organisations e.g. UK Contractors Group (UKCG) to set minimum quality standards for this type of equipment.

    PASMA has developed an additional module in its training scheme devoted solely to low level access plus a new DVD/CD ‘Accidents can happen even at low level’.

    ‘Pre-emptive prescriptive’ practices ‘misguided’

    PASMA MD Peter Bennett said:

    “Our concern is about cheap, inferior products now flooding the UK market, especially in the construction sector, which offer limited protection to users by, for instance, not having adequate guardrail systems fitted as standard and not meeting minimum requirements for resistance to overturning.

    We are also worried by the growing trend for main contractors to adopt what we would describe as ‘pre-emptive prescriptive’ practices in a misguided attempt to protect against the risks created by some of these products. For example, by asking manufacturers to fit base plates which, although they appear to address a problem of improper use in moving low level units whilst the operative is still on the platform, can create an unintended and displaced risk since such units cannot be easily moved from one location to another.

    We encourage everyone to await the publication of the PAS which will address all these issues, and many more besides, and provide informed and uniform guidance to everyone making, using and supervising the use of low level access products.”

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