01 August 2018

PASMA Conference 2018 Success

PASMA Conference 2018 Success

The 2018 PASMA Conference, held 12-13 July 2018 at the Aviator Hotel in Farnborough, has been hailed as PASMA’s ‘best ever” event to date.

With the slogan Raising Tower Safety Knowledge, the Conference shared the latest updates on mobile access tower standards and industry developments, as well as crucial insights into safe working at height.

Highlights of the event included:

Training Committee changes

John McNeilly of HSS stepped down as Chairman of the Training Committee, handing over the responsibility to Brian Parker from AFI-Uplift Ltd.

The Committee also welcomed a brand-new face as Adele Coupe from Mentor Training Ltd was elected following a ballot held immediately before the event.

Session 1 - From the Ground Up: The untold story of PASMA

Paul Pritchard, a tower industry veteran and retired PASMA Auditor, took delegates through the history of PASMA and the tower industry, and told all about a special archive project he is leading.

During the presentation, he dusted off some treasues from the past, including:

  • The very first tower is thought to have been built by Wallace ‘Wally’ Johnson in 1945 and patented in 1946 in California

  • The US Army Signal Corps issued a tender for 204-ft missile tracking towers in 1948 – now that is working at height!

  • The 4 founding members of PASMA first met and established the organisation in 1974

Session 2 - Changes to EN 1004: We Need to Talk About its Impact

PASMA Technical Director revealed what changes the update to BS EN 1004 (the standard which sets the criteria for the design of mobile access towers) will bring and the impact it will have.

These changes include:

  • The standard will now cover towers from 0m to 8m outdoors and 0m to 12m indoors. The current version of BS EN 1004 covers from 2.5m.

  • New criteria for calculations, including connections with the ground and wind effects.

  • A change in requirements for ballast, which now gives allowances of liquid and granular materials to be used to prevent unintentional movement, if supplied in containers by the manufacturer.

More information will be made available on the changes shortly.

Session 3 - The Morning from Hell: a fall from a tower
Kirsty Gomersal, partner at DAC Beachcroft & HM Assistant Coroner for West Yorkshire, and Ray Cooke, Head of Construction Sector Safety Unit from the HSE, involved delegates in an interactive scenario where a person fell from a tower, plus more.

The subject matter included police powers, HSE inspector powers, requests for personal information, whistleblowing, various interviews by the regulators, dealing with Trade Unions and legal privilege.

Key takeaways were:

  • You should seek legal advice to draft employer policies, including a specific policy for social media, to prevent misinformation of an accident spreading

  • In the event of an incident, tell your insurers quickly and keep them informed throughout

  • A lawyer will guide you through the process and help you avoid pitfalls

Video highlights from the Conference will be available shortly. Also, don’t miss out on announcements for next year’s Conference by following us on Twitter and Facebook.


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