PASMA cracks down on unsafe low level platforms with minimum safety standard
The Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association (PASMA) has launched a new Publically Available Specification - PAS 250 - a new safety standard for the design of low-level work platforms (LLWPs).
Sponsored by PASMA, facilitated by BSI Standards and published under licence from the British Standards Institution (BSI), that standard sets out the minimum safety and performance requirements for these access products, which are also commonly known as podiums, or pulpits. The specification comprehensively covers all low-level work platforms with one working platform and side protection, for use by one person with a maximum working platform height of 2.5 metres and under.
The new specification introduces a specific requirement for stability and resistance to overturning. Other detailed requirements include specifications for materials, 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. These requirements are assessed through a series of tests which confirm that podiums are in line with the specification.
PAS 250 has also led to other safety innovations being developed by manufacturers such as "anti-surf" devices preventing podiums from being moved while standing on the platform.
The introduction of PAS 250 means that there is now a basic safety standard for this type of equipment - something that was not in place previously - and should go some way towards preventing the distribution of designs that do not meet even the most basic of safety criteria.
PASMA's Managing Director, Peter Bennett, said: "Our three step plan involved creating a low-level training course and a guidance DVD to ensure that the people using podiums fully understood the need for safety at low levels. This new safety standard completes the plan by making the equipment itself as consistently safe as possible."
Championed by PASMA's technical committee, the standard was developed in consultation with the Association of British Certification Bodies, the Health and Safety Executive, Hire Association Europe, the Ladder Association and the UK Contractors Group.
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