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June 21, 2010

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Consultation – Fall-prevention methods under review

The Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’Association (PASMA) is undertaking a major review of the fall-prevention methods both it and the HSE currently approve for assembling and dismantling towers: 3T (Through the Trap) and AGR (Advanced Guardrail).

PASMA has already produced a wide-ranging interim technical report to encourage discussion on these issues. It is also undertaking two days of practical assessments to examine both methods and appraise them 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, says the group.

HSE inspector, Justine Lee, who has special responsibility in the areas of working at height and fall prevention commented: “It is now five years since the Work at Height Regulations came into force and PASMA, while acknowledging the advances in the adoption of safer work methods, sensibly wishes to review progress and chart a course for the future, which builds on the industry’s already impressive achievements.”

PASMA’s managing director, Peter Bennett set the review in the context of the recent House of Lords Merits Committee inquiry, which looked into the unintended effects of the Work at Height Regulations. To this end, he warned that “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 added: “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.”

PASMA is expecting to publish its findings in the latter part of the year.

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13 years ago

How many more people are going to be injured or even worse killed because of incorrectly erected towers with missing or damaged components. Why do we put people at risk assembling and dismantling towers by using the 3T method as it is ergonomically flawed. We now have the benefit of Advanced Guard rail systems available which are simple to assemble (and quicker ), less components to lose, miss place or have stolen and best of all never expose anyone to an unprotected edge, it’s a no brainer.