PASMA Tower Week: Promoting the power of the tower
11 October 2013
On November 11th-15th, PASMA Tower Week will be held nationally for the first time. Supported by Working Well Together, the HSE-sponsored national safety campaign, the focus will be on showing the distinct benefits of towers when it comes to safety, productivity and versatility – and, of course, cost effectiveness.
PASMA’s contribution will be a series of online digital events during the week, with local physical events held by members around the country. Among PASMA’s activities will be a series of seminars throughout the week, addressing both general tower use and major current issues.
These seminars will be combined with ‘ask the expert’ sessions. They will include representatives from PASMA itself, the HSE and other safety-related organisations. People with any questions about towers or related issues can post them on the Tower Week site (towerweek.pasma.org.uk) and the experts giving the online seminars will respond to them.
Also going on during the week will be on-site health checks for towers. These will help ensure that tower users, and those responsible for their selection and supervision, are using them safely and competently as required by the Work at Height Regulations (WAHR). The free health checks will be supported by free guidance and advice.
Tower workshops, surgeries, displays and demonstrations, including training tasters, will be delivered by PASMA member organisations across the country. These events and activities will vary from member to member, and are outlined in full on the Tower Week website, which is being regularly updated with events ahead of the week.
PASMA Tower Week is one of the most ambitious work at height campaigns on the calendar, with its national focus and a large number of PASMA member organisations having already signed up to take part.
The association’s managing director, Peter Bennett, said: "Towers are a familiar part of the workplace landscape. They enjoy a proven track record for safety and productivity and are the natural and logical choice for a great many access tasks.
"PASMA Tower Week will turn the spotlight on this versatile piece of access equipment and give it the prominence and attention it rightly deserves. It will showcase the latest developments in tower design, assembly techniques and safe practice, and highlight why towers are increasingly chosen in preference to other forms of temporary access."
In addition to members’ events, the online seminars will make up the bulk of PASMA’s direct involvement during Tower Week. These will cover a range of subjects.
On the first day of Tower Week, an interview with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will discuss the findings and outcomes of this year's HSE Inspection and Enforcement Campaign aimed at the refurbishment, repair and maintenance sectors. Targeting poor standards and unsafe practices on Britain's construction sites, the interview will focus on the issues found with particular reference to working at height and mobile access towers in particular.
The next planned subject – ‘Diversity, Advantages and Potential of Towers’ – covers the uses of mobile access towers that people and companies may not be fully aware of.
With aluminium equipment available for low level work, stairs, 3T and AGR tower types, cantilevers, high-clearance frames and more, this talk walks viewers through the wide variety of tower types and uses they can be put to.
Low level platforms in particular have changed rapidly in recent times – first gaining a huge popularity boost as people began to use them as an alternative to ladders for some jobs, and now changing again with the introduction of a safety standard for the first time.
This standard, PASMA’s PAS 250, will be the subject of another seminar, aimed particularly at people who use low level platforms and podiums and want to know what the new specification means for them.
A ‘Looking After Your Tower’ talk is also planned, focused on maintenance, along with a talk for people who may not use towers as regularly – or at all – to work at height, explaining the essential things to know.
All of these talks will be interactive, with experts answering questions sent to them through the Tower Week site (towerweek.pasma.org.uk). PASMA can be contacted about Tower Week on 0845 230 4041 or at email@example.com.