PASMA stands for the Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association.
The PASMA organisation’s sole purpose is to provide a commitment to the safe use of mobile access towers. They have been committed to the ideal of providing safe and efficient access for a long time. They specialise in equipping people with the necessary knowledge, skills and training to allow them to erect mobile access towers safely.
PASMA is recognised as an industry standard for suppliers and manufacturers of mobile access tower solutions. This consists of manufacturers, hirers or dealers, training and associate/subscribing members. Manufacturers adhering to PASMA have to ensure that their mobile tower products conform to the latest British/European standards along with third party accreditation.
Why have PASMA training?
In a domestic situation, currently there are no requirements for any formal training to erect a mobile access tower. Even though there is no requirement, it could be viewed that it may be a very good idea to have some training. This is mainly suggested to ensure a persons safety as an incorrectly erected tower could easily cause a person to have a serious injury.
Many people would also not even give any thought to how they would climb a mobile access tower. Believe it or not, there is a correct way and an incorrect way. (I’ll admit something here, when I was young, I climbed a mobile tower incorrectly and fell quite a distance hitting my head on a concrete floor. I was dazed for quite a time but recovered and considered myself very lucky!)
I was working on a construction site as a young person and wasn’t given any training. Moving through a few years, I am now a Senior Site Manager and will not let anyone use a mobile access tower without a “tool box” talk. A user of a mobile access tower doesn’t need any qualifications but a quick and thorough safety briefing could avoid a serious accident.
In a construction site situation, it is best practice to ensure that anyone erecting a mobile access tower has a PASMA training card or certificate. This is because the Working at Height Regulations dictate that before any work at height is carried out, a risk assessment must be undertaken. If as a result of the risk assessment, tower access is viable, a subsequent mobile access tower erection must be carried out by a “competent” person. PASMA training ensures that a person is deemed competent.
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PASMA Card / PASMA Ticket
When PASMA training has been completed successfully, the newly trained operative will receive a PASMA photocard that will prove they have undergone training successfully to an industry standard that will be recognised nationally.
Most, if not all construction sites will insist on seeing a current PASMA photocard before allowing you to erect, alter or dismantle a mobile access tower on their site. This is because the main contractor must prove due diligence and demonstrate that they have provided someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and training.
The obtained PASMA photocard must also be retained with the operative at all times. This is so anyone in authority can check your competency at any time.
Competency can be defined as a person who can demonstrate that they have accredited technical training, knowledge, experience and authority to carry out specific tasks related to the prior. This will enable them to:
- Carry out their duties to a level of responsibility.
- Understand any potential hazards may it be with the task or equipment.
- Detect any defects or omissions related to the task or equipment that may cause harm if not corrected.
When accepting any training and after successfully qualifying, the overriding ethos has to be for your health and safety and also the health and safety of anyone else that may be affected by your actions. You are responsible for them as you now have a bigger duty of care.
Always adhere to the manufacturers guidelines or instruction manuals as this is your safety net. Never attempt to use a mobile access tower beyond its limitations. Always follow the training you have had.
A PASMA approved training centre can also provide more specific courses that can be useful in more advanced situations. These include:
- Chimney scaffolds
- Cantilever access towers.
- Aluminium bridging units, linked towers, lightweight stagings and swimming pool bridges.
- Access towers with walk through frames, high clearance frames on footways and access towers on stairways.
So, as you can see, there are many forms and the training is available. The training courses above are modular and increase in complexity so there is a sequence after completing the standard course.
The PASMA logo is a registered trade mark so reproducing it here would not be a great idea. You can however find it on the PASMA home page here.
PASMA have also produced a really useful mobile app which is free. It includes manufacturers instruction manuals, operators Code of Practice, locations of PASMA training centres and hire suppliers. You’ll also receive safety bulletins and PASMA news automatically for free.
You can find more information on the app and also download it for Android or iOS here.
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PASMA training near me
PASMA have training centres everywhere so there is a good chance that you’ll find one relatively close to you.
You can find a PASMA accredited training centre on their website by clicking here.
PASMA training final thoughts
We have covered a fair amount in this article outlining what PASMA is, why it was formed and how it can benefit people who attend their training courses.
So, to outline, PASMA is dedicated to ensuring a robust, recognised industry standard is achieved with standardising the manufacture of mobile tower products and the training to be able to erect, alter and dismantle a PASMA mobile tower. Anyone passing their training will be deemed competent and have proof via a PASMA photocard.
Being a leading body and an industry standard, PASMA are the go to organisation by professionals seeking expert advice. PASMA trainers are themselves trained to a very high standard to ensure consistent high standards.
By passing even the initial basic module, the chances of an avoidable accident can be seriously reduced! This includes steel scaffold towers also in which you can read our article on steel towers here.