New Chairman for PASMA
Chris Blantern, 54, is the new Chairman of the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ And Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA), the trade body representing the mobile access tower industry. He takes over from Roger Verallo, who steps down after a period of four years in office.
He is the first Chairman of the increasingly global association to come from the Hire Assembly membership category.
Managing director of Sheffield-based Hi-Point Access Ltd, a company he formed with his brother in November 1991, Chris Blantern has spent virtually all his working life in the access industry. Originally serving South Yorkshire, Hi-Point now operates nationally and employs 60 people. It remains family owned and managed.
He first joined the industry in the early 1970’s as a trainee tower assembler with Martin Thomas Ltd - a company subsequently acquired by Stephens & Carter - before fulfilling a number of roles and going on to become an area manager responsible for two depots in Yorkshire and one in the Midlands.
Throughout his career he has been an enthusiastic champion of aluminium towers and the wide and varied applications for which they can be used. He has consistently advocated the need for the highest standards in training and safety for anyone involved in the work at height sector.
Significantly, Hi-Point Access was one of the first Hire Assembly companies specialising in mobile access towers to appoint a Health and Safety Director to its board.
PASMA’s new Chairman first joined the association in 1995. He joined the Training Committee in 1997 and became Chairman of the inaugural Hire Assembly Committee in 2008, a position he held until 2012.
During this five year period he was responsible, amongst other things, for pioneering a code of conduct for PASMA’s Hire Assembly members, contributing to the development of a training programme for aluminium tower riggers and supporting the introduction of a local authority pavement licence.
“In taking over, I must first pay tribute to Roger Verallo who has done an exceptional job as Chairman,” says Chris. “I intend to follow his example and build on his legacy.”
He added: “Over the next two years my aim is to promote safety and best practice across the industry. I want tower users to know that when they specify a PASMA member organisation, they can do so confident in the knowledge that they are dealing with a competent, professional company that satisfies industry-recognised standards.
“In other words, a specialist that knows and understands towers and speaks the language.”
Peter Bennett, PASMA’s managing director, was delighted to welcome Chris Blantern as the association’s new Chairman. He said: “Chris brings with him a lifetime of knowledge and expertise which can only benefit PASMA and its members. He will be a great asset as we continue to develop the reach and influence of the association going forward.”