What is PASMA and PASMA training?
You may well have already come across PASMA (Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association) - a well known industry association focussed on the safe use of mobile access towers and promoting best practice in this area. Made up of a team of experts, the organisation works with other professional bodies to provide essential skills and knowledge, at every level, to the working at height industry. PASMA provides an industry standard tower training course for mobile access towers and in some cases is the only proof that’s accepted for working at height. Thousands of people attend this course each year, at a number of PASMA approved training centres.
Why you need PASMA training
With the IPAF training underway, you might ask what is the need for further training provided by PASMA? The answer is simple - in many cases, you won't be able to do anything with a mobile tower, before first showing a PASMA card. This card represents best practice and safety when working at height and is recognised wherever you go. With falls from height accounting for half of all workplace deaths in the UK, it's not surprising that there are strict health and safety regulations to adhere to. According to the 2005 Working at Height Regulations, anyone working at height must prove that they are fully competent in use of work at height equipment. The PASMA card is proof of competency when using mobile access towers.
Proof of competency
Competent to a legal standard means more than the ability to assemble and dismantle a mobile tower, although this is a basic part of the standard PASMA course. You need to have sufficient knowledge and experience to carry out duties, understanding potential hazards and detecting any technical defects in the equipment, for a start.
Beyond this, there are other working at height competencies that you must have according to The Advisory Committee on Work at Height Training. This includes things like; understanding the Work at Height regulations, the principles of fall protection, recognising safe/unsafe situations, checking the safety of equipment, understanding correct storage methods and much more. Now it's clear to see the need for an industry body like PASMA guaranteeing the above, keeping you well informed and up to date, to work safely and productively.
Not to mention there's a whole list of potential hazards that you face daily when working at height and you need to have the knowledge to deal with these if and when they arise. Hazards can result from many sources and some will be out of your control, that you must be prepared to deal with - such as instability from the wind, falling objects and strikes by vehicles, so it's important to be prepared. You'll be taught methods to improve stability and deal with hazards.
Step up the ladder
PASMA training makes sense - working safely at height comes down to knowledge and skills - the better informed you are, the safer you and other workers will be. Added to this - PASMA training helps you gain better prospects in the long run in your working at height career. The more knowledgeable you are, the better your chances of career progression in the industry and as an operator you'll have the grounding to possibly progress to a supervisor and manager.
What you can expect to learn in the standard PASMA training course
Through doing this one day course, you’ll learn how to safely put together, use, inspect parts and take apart aluminium or fibreglass mobile access towers. Everyone on this course has to erect and dismantle a tower, carry out an inspection and sit a test paper. After the course, you'll also have a more in depth understanding of the legal issues around working at height with mobile towers, product standards relating to equipment and knowledge of potential hazards.
Other more specialist PASMA courses
PASMA also delivers a range of specialist courses; including low level, working at height and towers for managers.
The Combined Low Level Access and Towers for Users course is a one day course. The course involves both theory and practical, including how to safety assemble, dismantle and relocate low level access units and standard mobile access towers without risk of personal injury to the delegate or others.
The Low Level Access course is just a half day course, aimed at staff working from units of less than 2.5 metres high. The course involves both theory and practice; including how to assemble, dismantle and move mobile access units, without risk to yourself or others.
The Towers for Managers course is a one day course for managers and supervisors responsible for overseeing work. This course is to ensure that working at height using mobile access towers is properly planned and organised and those that are involved on- site are competent and well trained.
The PASMA Work at Height essentials course is a good introduction if you don't know much about working at height. The half day course provides crucial information on the use of mobile access towers and use of all forms of access equipment.
When you reach the end of the course
Following the course, you’ll receive a course content booklet and PASMA Code of Practice, together with a PASMA certificate and photocard for the relevant level that's valid for 5 years. With both IPAF and PASMA training done, you can be sure that you’re officially ready for working at height and to tackle any on-site challenges. As an operator, you'll have a better understanding of how to work safely and as a supervisor you're equipped with the skills needed to supervise more effectively.
View all PASMA Courses available.