Tony Seddon from FASET (Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training) provides AccessPoint readers with some all-important details of safe working with access platform decking.
FASET is the international trade association and training body for the safety net rigging and temporary safety systems industry, including access platform decking. FASET is also a founder member of the Access Industry Forum (AIF), which is the industry alliance for access when working at height.
By providing collective access at eaves height, access platform decking enables builders to work both inside and outside of a structure, combining ease of installation with strength. This allows users to safely access, work from and load the decking with materials.
FASET has been working with all the major suppliers and trainers in the sector to agree common training and test standards in the industry, and has successfully agreed a training and certification scheme which will result in a Skilled CSCS Card specific to the trade: endorsed ‘FASET Platform Decking Installer’. This is a first for the industry.
Technically, platform decking systems must conform to BS EN 12811, and if made from plastic type materials, be tested to ACR (M) 001: 2014. Where additional handrails are incorporated, they must conform to BS EN 13374.
Supporting safe installation
In addition to a safety checklist and component schedule, all system manufacturers are obliged to supply a complete and comprehensive installation guide for their respective products. No work should be undertaken without adherence to this guide.
It must include, among other things, details of the PPE required for installers, the limitations of the system, guidance on load capacity, assembly instructions, step-by-step images of the assembly sequence, information on the maximum gaps permissible under current legislation, a post-installation checklist and guidance on dismantling.
Importantly, all manufacturers must provide, upon request, evidence of load testing, which must have been carried out by a recognised, independent UKAS-accredited test house based in the UK. They must also provide details of the load capacity that their system is rated to under BS EN 12811.
They must undergo a post-erection inspection and handover by a competent installer. This must be formally recorded and state the load capacity of the system.
Ongoing safety inspection
Access platform decking must be inspected daily prior to use, and the system and its components must be inspected every seven days and, in addition, after any incident, alteration or adverse weather conditions where structural integrity may have been compromised.
FASET can also assist here. The FASET Platform Decking Committee has also agreed a training course for those managing and inspecting platform decking systems on their sites. This training will result in a FASET Platform Decking training certificate.
Contact FASET for more details on training on and working with access platform decking.
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