Guardrails

Do you need to fit guardrails even at very low levels?

You must fit guardrails to the platform if your risk assessment has shown that there is a danger of a fall liable to cause personal injury. That risk may exist even at low platform heights.

How do you get onto the platform at low heights if it needs guardrails and toe boards?

If your risk assessment shows that guardrails or guardrails and toe boards are necessary, and the platform is low, (i.e. you can step onto the platform because it is no more than 400mm (16”) from the ground or you can sit on the platform from the ground):

First - from ground level fit the guardrails/toe boards except to one side of the tower

Second - step or sit on the platform and then fit the guardrails / toe boards to the remaining side

When descending, reverse this procedure

Should you use a safety harness and lanyard as fall protection when working on a mobile tower?

Both PASMA and the HSE specifically recommend that you do not use a safety harness and lanyard when working on mobile towers. If the guardrails have been correctly installed then the tower has collective fall protection so personal fall protection is not necessary. 

In the event of a arrested fall on a mobile tower you are likely to cause the tower to overturn increasing the risk of injury to yourself and also to others in the vicinity.

Should you use the smallest end frames at the top or bottom of a mobile tower?

If you are building a mobile tower using the 3T method, always use the smallest frames at the base e.g. start the tower with 2 rung frames at the base followed by 3 rungs frames and then 4 rung frames on top. This will allow you build the tower safely using the 3T method ensuring that the guardrails may be fitted at the correct heights through the build.

What is the 3T method and what is Advance Guard Rail (AGR)?

3T stands for Through the Trap and it is one of two processes used for fall protection on mobile towers recommended by PASMA and the HSE. The other process is the use of Advance Guard Rail (AGR) systems.  If you don’t know what the 3T method is or how Advance Guard Rail (AGR)  systems work and you are involved in the building of mobile towers or you have responsibilities for the use of mobile towers, then you need to get PASMA trained!

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