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The EHN phone lines rang white hot the day after an advertisement for Turner Access’ BetaGuard aluminium tower system appeared in Construction News. Callers were reacting to the manufacturer’s claim that its BetaGuard, which has frames designed to incorporate advanced guardrail protection (AGR), “removes the risks present during usage, assembly, dismantle and alteration of traditional towers”, and that “Traditional towers using the 3T (through the trap) method present five distinct risks”. This prompted the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) Chairman, Roger Verallo, to respond, “both the AGR and 3T methods continue to be the only methods currently approved by PASMA and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for assembling and dismantling towers,” and that

is safer than the 3T method because it offers greater collective fall protection. If there is confusion, it is not of our making. It is caused by guidance that needs clarification.”

The traditional 3T system

“both methods continue to be supported by PASMA’s industry standard training scheme.” When we contacted Gary Gallagher, MD of Turner Access, which is itself also a PASMA member, he said, “We believe that AGR protection

Bavtrak for Brownsea

A Digbits Bavtrak 025 compact crusher was recently put to work on a project at The National Trust’s Brownsea Island, situated within Poole harbour. The machine, hired from Dorset-based contractor Keith Maiden, was selected due to the location’s environmental sensitivity. The Island, which hosted the first Scout camp in 1907, is a dedicated nature conservation area. Approximately 250 tonnes of rubble from dismantled buildings was

recycled and re-used on the site to build a new visitor centre, saving on transportation and overall costs. Moreover, the fact that everything had to arrive by boat precluded the use of larger crushers.

The 3T method involves the operative working partially through the open trap of a platform to position guardrails at appropriate distances above the platform. They then stand on the platform to continue the assembly process. The advance guardrail method involves the use of advance guardrails, which are positioned ahead of the platform. When the operative gains access to the platform, the advance guardrail is in position. They then install the permanent guardrails, and the advance unit is re-positioned ahead of the next platform. The greater focus on these methods comes at a time when PASMA is conducting a review of its guidance on tower assembly, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders. The Association organised ‘hot topic’ debates on the merits of each system at last month’s Safety & Health Expo, our review of which commences on page 16. PASMA is set to stage tests of both methods at a technical assessment session later this month.

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