Working at height is the single biggest cause of deaths in the UK workplace and accounts for more than half of the total deaths in the construction industry every year. This risky activity is a requirement of the UK construction business and usually involves the use of mobile access towers for various tasks. Back in 2005, the UK government looked at this incredibly high statistic and decided to put some appropriate regulations in place in order to reduce these risks to the UK workforce. So the Work at Height 2005 regulation was born and as a result, many training course providers were quick to work in conjunction with HSE. The results were the introduction of various working at height courses and every employer who had any type of working at height task was thereafter required to offer this training to his/her employees.

What Type of Training?

It was decided that many of the accidents that were occurring whilst working at height were caused by several actions:

  • Failing to provide a safe working environment.
  • Failure to use the correct safety equipment
  • Lack of understanding of potential hazards

As well as the main issues, it was understood that many employees were simply not trained sufficiently for working at height. The HSE devised a number of regulations that dealt with this myriad of shortcomings and these were then used to develop several types of approved training courses.


PASMA training is probably the most recognised form of mobile access tower training in the UK. It is HSE approved and many training course facilitators are happy to run this as a part of their workplace safety curriculum. PASMA courses cover all aspects of working at height and this includes working from low level access equipment as well. Most of the course providers will offer these on a one day option and many of them can come to your workplace if that is more convenient.

What Will You Learn On These Courses?

A typical Mobile Access Tower Training course will deal with the following modules:

  • Legal Overview
  • Guidance and Information
  • British & European Standards
  • Tower Components, Maintenance and Inspection
  • Tower Assembly & Dismantling
  • Tower Stability & Training
  • Hazards
  • Responsibilities

Each training centre may run a slightly different course, but they all must meet the standards that are laid out by the 2005 Work at Height regulation.


Each individual who has completed the appropriate PASMA training course should be able to demonstrate that they are capable of working at height on a mobile access tower without creating unnecessary risk to themselves or their co-workers. They should also be able to assemble, dismantle, alter, move and inspect these towers without causing any risk of injury to themselves or anyone else using the equipment.

Who is Suitable for These Courses?

Anyone who has reason to use mobile access towers as a part of their regular working activity needs to attend these training courses. Employees, managers and supervisors need to show an understanding of how to use this type of equipment in a safe and competent manner. Displaying the PASMA photocard is proof that you have undergone the correct safety training for working with mobile access towers. This credential is fully HSE recognised and should be a requirement to be shown to building owners before they allow the workforce access to their respective buildings for any type of working at height.

Have They Helped Lower The Statistics?

The construction business only accounts for 5% of the total UK workforce, but it accounts for 27% of fatal injuries. Since the introduction of Working at Height 2005, the number of deaths in the construction industry has been reduced. But any death is still one too many, hopefully the regulations will continue to have an effect and keep our constructions workers safer than ever before.