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     First ever spec for low-level work platforms produced

First ever spec for low-level work platforms produced

5 January 2014 Email this article

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published a document which sets the industry standard for the design and use of low-level work platforms for the first time.

These low-level work platforms (LLWPs) – also known as podiums and pulpits – have become everyday items of work equipment since the introduction of the Work at Height Regulations in 2005.

The document from the BSI, entitled PAS 250 Specification for low-level work platforms, establishes the requirements for a LLWP with one working platform with side protection, for use by one person, with a maximum working platform height of less than 2.5m and a maximum working load of 150kg.

It sets out requirements for materials, design loads, dimensions, strength and stability tests, marking and user instructions. Until now, designs for LLWPs have been developed with no formal standard to follow and although many are safe for use, aspects of some products could be improved by adherence to an agreed specification. The BSI said that PAS 250 document meets this need and establishes minimum safety and performance criteria for LLWPs.

And the benefits are already apparent. One impact of PAS 250 has been the development of ‘anti-surf’ devices to prevent LLWPs being moved while someone is standing on the platform. There are also now specifications for the design of the guardrails and access, the integrity of the mobility devices, the ability to fit toe-boards, and requirements for the content of labels and user guides.

PAS 250 Anne Hayes, head of market development for governance & risk at BSI, said: “Without safety guidelines to follow, there is a risk that an inferior product design may reach the market and end up in the workplace. PAS 250 can safeguard potential users working at height and minimize accidents in the workplace.”