News Detail

The Test & Research Centre for towers and ladders is now OPEN!

Back in 2018, PASMA agreed to support the establishment of a UK testing centre for access equipment. We wanted to see a facility where scaffold towers could be put through their paces. Where access products could earn their own quality mark. Where there was plenty of space for indoor work at height training. And, crucially, where research could be done to help improve height safety. Today, the Test & Research Centre is officially open for business. It's the result of many months of hard work, largely by John Darby, our Head of Technical Support. He worked through numerous locations until we found the right home in Soham, Cambridgeshire, and then went on to oversee the purchase and renovation of the building. In recent months, he has been splitting his days between PASMA, the Ladder Association, various committees and the Test & Research Centre. Occasionally he gets to spend some time with his family too! With the Centre now ready to start welcoming clients, it needs a full-time manager who can commit to running it as an independent business. John has decided to leave PASMA (and the Ladder Association) and take on this role himself. He will officially move on 3rd February 2020. We're all very sad to be losing the expertise of someone whose working life has been devoted to improving the quality and safety of towers. His technical understanding of access products has been put to good use here and will be much missed. However, we know it's precisely this experience that makes him the perfect person to develop a facility that meets the needs of the industry. As well as being a client of theirs, we continue to support the Test & Research Centre and its aims. We will be using the Centre to train new PASMA instructors. Plus, thanks to its 25m tall tower area and mix of steel, cladding and blockwork walls, we can start training professional tower riggers again too. We've also set up certification schemes for: - Mobile access and working towers (based on BS EN 1004) - Prefabricated tower scaffolds (BS1139-6) - Low level work platforms (BS 8620) The Centre manages these schemes for us. You can have your towers certified under them, earning the right to use the new T&RGETMARK certification mark. With an EN1004 revision coming later this year, talk among manufacturers has turned to certification. Why not have a chat with John about how the Test & Research Centre can help you re-certify your mobile access towers in time for the new standard? On behalf of PASMA and our members, we wish John lots of luck in his new job. We can't wait to see what dizzy heights he takes the Test & Research Centre to!