Horizon Platforms Blog

Is PASMA Training a Legal Requirement in the UK?

Mobile access towers, an alternative to using powered access platforms when working at height, are used for a variety of reasons and in numerous scenarios. But is mobile access tower training (commonly referred to as PASMA Training) a legal requirement in the UK?

With there being some uncertainty around the requirement of PASMA training, Ben Hughes Horizon Platforms’ Training Manager, takes you through all you need to know about what the law says regarding the use of mobile access towers.

What Does The Law Say About PASMA Training?

The law can differ from country to country depending on specific legislation around working at height. However, in the UK, while PASMA training is not specifically a legal requirement, we have regulations that mandate expected levels of competence for anyone who works at height. This includes operators and builders of PASMA towers.

The reason these regulations were put in place is to ensure both the safety of the operator and compliance with UK health and safety legislation. Therefore, if an untrained operator were to have an accident while using or erecting towers, the employer is at significant legal risk.

Horizon Platforms instructor conducting a PASMA training course

What Regulation is Relevant to PASMA Training?

Relevant health and safety standards in the UK include The Health and Safety at Work act (1974), The Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999) and the Work at Height Regulations (2005).

The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) states “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees” followed by “Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular…..the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees”.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999) further defines the employers responsibilities in regard to adequately training their employees by stating in section 13:  

(1) Every employer shall, in entrusting tasks to his employees, take into account their capabilities as regards health and safety.

(2) Every employer shall ensure that his employees are provided with adequate health and safety training:

(a)on their being recruited into the employer’s undertaking; and

(b)on their being exposed to new or increased risks because of—

(i)their being transferred or given a change of responsibilities within the employer’s undertaking,

(ii)the introduction of new work equipment into or a change respecting work equipment already in use within the employer’s undertaking,

(iii)the introduction of new technology into the employer’s undertaking, or

(iv)the introduction of a new system of work into or a change respecting a system of work already in use within the employer’s undertaking.

(3) The training referred to in paragraph (2) shall:

(a)be repeated periodically where appropriate;

(b)be adapted to take account of any new or changed risks to the health and safety of the employees concerned; and

(c)take place during working hours.

Additionally, the Work at Height Regulations (2005) state, “Every employer shall ensure that no person engages in any activity, including organisation, planning and supervision, in relation to work at height or work equipment for use in such work unless he is competent to do so or, if being trained, is being supervised by a competent person”.

Can I Use a Mobile Tower Without a PASMA License?

If an incident were ever to happen, and it became apparent that the operator did not have the required training, then the employer is at significant legal risk. There is also the risk that any site you work on can refuse your operative access if they don’t have a recognised license to build and use the towers. PASMA isn’t regulated in the same way that driving licenses are regulated and using, or building, a PASMA Tower without a license isn’t necessarily a criminal offence, however as stated in the regulations above, it is expected that anyone working on this equipment has adequate training. By getting qualified through PASMA, you are both ensuring that your operatives can both build and use the towers safely and competently, as well as keeping yourself compliant.

Where Can I get PASMA Training?

Luckily, Horizon Platforms can help! We run PASMA Towers for Users courses weekly and our highly qualified team of instructors make sure you have everything you need to do your job safely. You can book your PASMA training course here or for further information please contact our training team.