Specification for helping keep low-level work platform users safe is developed

12 December 2013

Following the implementation of The Work at Height Regulations in 2005, low-level work platforms (LLWPs), also known as podiums and pulpits, have become everyday items of work equipment.

BSI, the National Standards Body has developed PAS 250 Specification for low-level work platforms with sponsorship from PASMA (the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association) to set a safety benchmark for the design of those products. Experts from the Health and Safety Executive, Hire Association Europe, the Ladder Association, the UK Contractors Group and PASMA formed the steering group involved in the development of PAS 250.

PAS 250 establishes the requirements for a LLWP with one working platform with side protection, for use by one person, with a maximum working platform height of less than 2.5 m and a maximum working load of 150 kg. It sets out requirements for materials, design loads, dimensions, strength and stability tests, marking and user instructions.

Until now, designs for LLWPs have been developed with no formal standard to follow and although many are safe for use, aspects of some products could be improved by adherence to an agreed specification. PAS 250 meets this need and establishes minimum safety and performance criteria for LLWPs.

Anne Hayes, Head of Market Development for Governance & Risk at BSI says, “Without safety guidelines to follow, there is a risk that an inferior product design may reach the market and end up in the workplace. PAS 250 can safeguard potential users working at height and minimize accidents in the workplace.”

Peter Bennett, PASMA’s Managing Director, says, “PAS 250 means there is now no excuse for working on unsafe low level platforms. It comes at the end of our three-step plan, which included launching our low-level training course and a guidance DVD.

“With injuries from low-level falls among the most common, we saw it as vital that we helped to make low-level work as safe as possible. This new standard moves safety on further by ensuring that proper design guidance is available for this type of equipment.”

Key benefits of PAS 250:

  • Introduction of a specific requirement for stability and resistance to overturning
  • Specifications for materials, the design of the guardrails and access, the integrity of the mobility devices, the ability to fit toe-boards, and requirements for the content of labels and user guides
  • Has led to the development of “anti-surf” devices preventing LLWPs from being moved while someone is standing on the platform

PAS 250 will benefit duty holders and users working in construction, facilities management, logistics, or manufacturing, but these products are also used extensively across all sectors of industry. Although PAS 250 does not refer to scaffolds, step ladders or mobile elevating working platforms, it will be of interest to those who use these types of equipment.

PAS 250 is available to purchase from both the BSI Shop  http://shop.bsigroup.com/pas250 and the PASMA online shop http://www.pasma.co.uk/online-shop/