In its drive to introduce minimum safety and performance criteria for low level work platforms all of PASMA’s manufacturing members now comply with the requirements of PAS 250.

PAS 250 is a Publicly Available Specification, expected to become a full British standard by 2016, and is sponsored by PASMA and developed in collaboration with the British Standards Institution (BSI) and other organisations, such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Hire Association Europe (HAE) and the UK Contractors’ Group (UKCG).

As PASMA describes it, buyers and users can now purchase pulpits and podiums made by the association’s manufacturing members confident in the knowledge that they have been designed, manufactured and tested to satisfy the stringent requirements of PAS 250.

The association goes further by stating that anyone with responsibility for sourcing or using low level work platforms should only buy certified PAS 250 compliant products, as offered by PASMA members.

Don Aers, PASMA technical director, explained, “Designs for this type of equipment had previously been developed in the absence of any formal standard. Without specific design criteria it was clear that some products were inherently unsafe and open to misuse and abuse.

“Specifiers should not think that because podiums and pulpits are fitted with anti-surf devices, that it’s ‘job done‘. There are many other safety issues that need to be addressed to comply with PAS 250, chief amongst which is resistance to overturning.

“PAS 250 addresses these issues in a pragmatic, practical way and users should be aware of the risks they run by specifying non-compliant equipment. It really is the first thing they should check.”

PAS 250 covers, among other things, strength and stability requirements and material specifications, together with design requirements for the working platform, side protection (guardrails), access, mobility, labels and user guides.

A road show is planned in 2015 in conjunction with Working Well Together (WWT) - the HSE sponsored organisation that delivers health and safety events across the country - highlighting the safety benefits and advantages of PAS 250 pulpits and podiums.

PAS 250 leaflets and free posters are available via the PASMA website www.pasma.co.uk

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