Falls from heights continue to be the leading cause of accidents in the construction industry and ensuring that equipment meets safety requirements and is used correctly is one way to lower these figures and keep users safe. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics for 2022, falls from heights caused the greatest deaths among work-related fatalities.
In the construction industry today, there is a vast range of access solutions available, which are suitable for a wide variety of tasks. However, it has become apparent that it is common practice for users to mix product components from different manufacturers when building towers.
Carolina Marino, UK Product Manager for BoSS, a WernerCo brand, explains the serious safety risks involved and why users should think before they mix.
Set the safety standard
Some users may be unaware that mixing components from different manufacturers when constructing towers would result in a structure that is non-compliant with specified standards, generally EN1004-1:2020 states that only the original manufacturer components specified in the instruction manual shall be used.
Compliance to safety standards is crucial in order to safely construct a tower that is suitable for work at height. All towers should be certified to a standard (EN1004-1:2020) and verified as meeting that standard by an independent assessor.
The new European Product Standard for towers, EN1004-1:2020 came into force in November 2020 and ensures that tower builds meet the minimum safety requirements. This standard now covers ALL towers below 2.5m and the maximum heights remain at 8m externally and 12m internally.
Although it may seem that all towers are similar in appearance and are constructed in the same way, the different manufacturing processes and material choices mean the strength and performance of such components can be compromised when mixing elements.
The tower must be assembled according to the manufacturer’s instruction manual. If other components are used or they are assembled differently, then the tower is not certified. It’s important for the user to remember, it is not the components that are certified, it is the complete tower.
When it comes to working at height, selecting the correct access equipment is vital and if all of these considerations are looked at prior to choosing equipment for the job, then hopefully many accidents can be preventable.
Trust your manufacturer
BoSS products are available to buy or hire through registered stockists, trade outlets and online partners. Not only do they offer safe, durable access solutions for those looking to work at height, but for those unsure as to what equipment would be best, BoSS also offers a handy online guide to help users determine what product is correct for their project.
Determined to reduce working at height accidents, WernerCo offers training courses to those unsure about how to safely build a compliant tower, in order to build confidence in tradespeople as well as safe access solutions.
To find out more about WernerCo and its comprehensive range of BoSS access towers, click here