Day 5: Key facts on advanced tower configurations

It’s fitting that on the last day of PASMA Tower Week 2015 we feature the diversity of mobile access towers and their ability to provide safe and effective access for a wide variety of different and frequently demanding applications. The domain of PASMA’s ‘Hire and Assembly’ members, they include TOWERS ON STAIRS, BRIDGING UNITS AND CANTILEVER STRUCTURES. 

So what do you need to know? Here are 9 facts to give you a head start:


Why advanced towers?

Simply because their flexibility of configuration, strength combined with lightness, and speed of assembly and dismantling, make them the ideal choice for a variety of non-standard applications. By comparison, and simply for the record, standard towers have platform heights from 2.5 metres to 12.0 metres indoors, and 2.5 metres to 8.0 metres outdoors.


What are the benefits?

In many instances, the use of advanced configurations  means that the work is carried out faster, safer and more efficiently than conventional access alternatives. They can also deliver important cost benefits when value for money is a key priority.


What standards apply?

As you would expect, BS EN 1004 – the European product standard for towers – plus BS 1139-6 Metal Scaffolding, the revised and recently published British Standards Institution standard for complex access tower structures.


Two standards – how does that work?

BS 1139-6 specifies the requirements for the structural design of prefabricated tower scaffolds utilising components from standard mobile access and working towers specified in BE EN 1004, but in configurations that are outside the scope of the standard.

Bridging structure

Bridging structure

Some examples

Towers on stairs are an obvious example of a non-standard application. Bridging units are another where towers are simply joined together to span features or objects that cannot be moved, or where the floor cannot support any other type of access solution.

Stepped structure

Stepped structure

Other applications

Cantilever structures are often used to provide access where a standard tower cannot be located alongside the point of work – for example, to work on guttering over the top of a projecting porch – and stepped structures can provide safe access where the end frames sit on different levels. For example, in a swimming pool.

Large deck structure

Large deck structure

Are there any more?

The answer is ‘yes‘. They include façade tower structures, large deck structures and high level structures.


Who does the calculations?

Advanced configurations require additional calculations by the manufacturer and additional user instructions to supplement the standard user instruction manuals. In some cases, a specific design is needed together with an assembly, use and dismantling plan.


Top tip

Talk to a PASMA ‘Hire and Assembly’ member who will offer advice and make sure that your complex tower meets all the safety requirements based on the latest standards. You can do so safe in the knowledge that those carrying out the work will have been trained to the highest level based on BS 1139-6.