PASMA Tower Week proves a success
By Sarah Ann McCay27 November 2013
The UK’s Prefabricated Access Suppliers & Manufacturers Association (PASMA) provided a week of online training, guidance and best practice with its inaugural PASMA Tower Week, which took place 11-15 November.
A first for the working at height sector, the event saw mobile access towers take centre stage through a series of online interviews and presentations, alongside regional displays, demonstrations, tower surgeries and health checks.
Delivered nationally by trade body PASMA and its member organisations - and supported by Working Well Together (WWT) – the Tower Week website attracted over a 1000 visitors a day, with hundreds of users requesting PASMA’s free Tower Fact Pack.
PASMA’s managing director, Peter Bennett, said, “By providing a range of free resources our principal aim was to promote tower safety. However, we also wanted to demonstrate the benefits of towers in a growing number of different sectors, and to use the campaign to provide a snapshot of current tower use to inform future safety-led initiatives and projects. The images and information we received as a result of Tower Week will prove invaluable.”
Tower Week got underway with an exclusive interview with Justine Lee, an Inspector of Health and Safety in the HSE’s Construction Sector Team, who discussed the findings of this year’s two ‘Safer Sites’ initiatives targeting the refurbishment, repair and maintenance sectors.
During the September inspection initiative, inspectors visited 2607 sites and found basic safety standards were not being met on 1105 of them. Significantly, one of the three most common problems identified was a failure to protect workers during activities at height.
Other digital events during the week included a talk by PASMA’s technical director, Don Aers, on the diversity, advantages and potential of towers, and another on the essential points to consider when buying, owning and looking after a mobile access tower.
An additional talk featured PAS 250, PASMA’s new product specification designed to protect users of low-level access equipment such as podiums and pulpits. The specification covers all low-level work platforms with one working platform and side protection, for use by one person with a maximum platform height of less than 2.5 m.
Around the country PASMA members also organised a series of practical events designed to reinforce the need to use only a mobile tower which is certified to product standard EN1004 or BS EN1004 in the UK, and one that can be assembled and dismantled using either of the two recognised safe methods: Through the Trap (3T) or Advanced Guardrail (AGR).