The Working at Height Regulations (WAHR)

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Once again PASMA and its members played a leading role in the development of these regulations. Originating as part of a EU directive the WAHR came into force in 2004 after a long consultation period during which there was a great deal of debate about whether the rule should apply below 2m (previous regulations had only applied to platform heights above 2m). There was also considerable discussion about whether double guardrails were required on intermediate platforms and whether guardrails and platforms? could be relocated in situ. PASMA’s staff, council and technical committee had numerous meetings with the regulations drafters and eventually all PASMA manufacturing members met with their towers and their own assembly teams at the Alto factory in Redditch to demonstrate their safe building techniques to the HSE. These were all videoed by the HSE and after some consideration two of the methods chosen were given the HSE seal of approval. These were the “Through The Trap” (3T) method and the “Advance Guardrail” (AGR) method. These methods are explained in some depth in the HSE guidance note on working at height. There was some resistance to adopting only these two methods by other manufacturers but after “robust” pressure from the HSE PASMA eventually agreed to fall in line and the PASMA COP and training course were amended to reflect these new methods. PASMA assisted training members by offering financial assistance to them to purchase an AGR tower. The writer can remember only too well trying to argue the merits of the build method his company used only to be told by the HSE that if he persevered with this method and a user had an accident then prosecution would follow with an inevitable prison sentence because “you have been warned.”