Low-Level Work Platforms: From PAS to British Standard
08 December 2016
With effect from 31 October 2016, PAS 250, the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) for low-level work platforms (LLWPs) - originally sponsored by PASMA and first published in 2012 - has been superseded by British Standard 8620:2016.
Designs for LLWPs, commonly referred to as podiums and pulpits, had previously been developed in the absence of a formal specification, and while the majority provided a safe solution to low-level access, there were some aspects that could be improved by relevant and specific design criteria – which PAS 250 introduced.
With the conversion to BS 8620 by the British Standards Institution (BSI), safety and performance criteria has been enhanced with a dimensional change to side protection and modification to two specific tests.
PASMA is quick to point out that the conversion of PAS 250 to a full British standard does not mean that existing PAS 250 compliant LLWPs are now obsolete. “Far from it,” says the chairman of PASMA’s technical committee, John Darby. “You can continue to use PAS 250 type-approved podiums and there is no necessity to change product immediately. You can introduce the upgrade when the time comes for replacement.”
“BS 8620 type-approved product should start to become available from April 2017 and we encourage users to update their procurement policies accordingly to guarantee that future equipment meets the very latest criteria for strength, access, stability and rigidity.”
To assist purchasers and users over this transitional period, PASMA has introduced an informative fact sheet and FAQ section to the association’s website.
The new standard has industry-wide backing. The steering group which first contributed to its development includes: the Association of British Certification Bodies (ABCB); the Health and Safety Executive (HSE); Hire Association Europe (HAE); the Ladder Association; PASMA; and BuildUK.