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Mast Climbing safety code finalised

The mast climbing work platform industry is to step up safety with a British Standard code of practice.

The code, BS7981, has been developed with the help of many interested parties from the industry. Originally based on a 1984 HSE guidance note, then updated by the International Powered Access Federation, it has been a long time coming. Once established in Britain, it will go on to be a European Standard and then, ultimately, an international standard or ISO.

Now that BS7981 is about to be put into force, it is hoped that mountains of paperwork will be eliminated. Andrew Reid of Mastclimbers Ltd, who chaired the Bsi select committee with the HSE on redrafting the document, said ‘It clarifies the criteria of training, methods and procedures for the people involved in carrying out the tasks. It will also clarify the distinct health and safety criteria. In the future it will significantly enhance site safety by eliminating procedural confusion.’