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Product standard: BS EN 1004

The product standard for mobile access towers is defined under the European standard: BS EN 1004:2004 which covers the manufacturing of mobile access scaffold towers of heights between 2.5m – 8m (external use) and 2.5m-12m (internal use). Any tower with BS EN 1004 certification ensures that the product conforms the minimum safety requirements and is fit for purpose and safe for all users during assembly, use and dismantle.

Its important access towers are regulated as they are pivotal in the work for many traders across London and the UK and need to be safe. For instance, recently a high level specialist decorating company required the use of a cantilever scaffold tower to gain access to an out of reach position on a job at the Wallace Collection Museum, London.

two workman on cantilever access tower outside

Key changes and transformation of BS EN 1004:2004 to BS EN 1004:2020

Towards the end of 2020, changes were put forth to BS EN 1004:2004 which were to be instated from 30th November 2021, thus changing the standard code from BS EN 1004:2004 to BS EN 1004:2020. In essence, any tower components manufactured past this point must conform to this new product standard to receive the certification. *

These key changes are brought in to make new mobile access towers even safer for all users and to reduce the risk of falling from heights. The changes are as follows:

  • Towers of all heights now fall under the scope of BS EN 1004 rather than towers 2.5m or higher.
  • Shorter distance between the first platform and the ground. This is now capped at 3.4m, reduced from 4.6m
  • Shorter distance between individual platforms. This is now capped at 2.25m, reduced from 4.2m.
  • Extra requirement that all platform decks are to be secured at both ends with double wind locks to ensure platforms don’t lift up in windy conditions.
  • Extra measures in place to prevent castors from falling out.

Read more on the working at regulations that are designed to prevent death and injury caused by falls from heights.

exterior shot of yellow grp tower

Can I still use access towers that comply to BS EN 1004:2004?

Yes, these towers are completely safe if they are in good working condition as these changes only apply to newly manufactured towers. * It is worth checking for updated instruction manuals for the tower you are using as it may change.

Product standard: BS EN 1139-6:2014

BS EN 1139-6:2014 is the other product standard for mobile access towers. This British standard covers mobile access towers outside of the realm of BS EN 1004:2020 but which use the same components and therefore need the same level of due diligence. *

BS EN 1139-6:2014 covers the following tower types:

  • Stair Towers
  • Cantilever towers
  • Bridging or Façade towers
  • Towers lower than 2.5m
  • High Level towers greater than 12m (internal) and 8m (external)

tower access scaffolding bridge setup across large wall

If you’re involved in a project involving working at height and you’d like to find out more about how Access Towers can help with our range of platforms to suit specialist jobs, get in touch today. For more information about any of our products or services call 0208 665 1181 to speak with a member of our friendly and professional team.

*Correct at time of publishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered working at height?

Anything above ground level is considered Working at Height. Access Towers are a large provider of PASMA Training and sit within the top 5% in the UK, allowing us to train the full range of 1-Day PASMA Courses to suit any of your work at height Tower Training requirements.

What are the working at height regulations?

It is recommended by Health & Safety standards that those who are assembling Towers should be PASMA Trained. This will give operatives a 5-year qualification of competency for the use of mobile towers.

Do I need to have a licence/certificate to use the equipment?

Certifications will vary depending on what equipment you’re hiring. It’s always best to speak with our Hire Desk if you are unsure, where they can advise what will be best for you or in more advanced working conditions, we can install onsite.

What are the different training sessions you offer & who are they for?

Training courses are for anyone using the equipment, from commercially to domestically. These will range from PASMA Training for the use of Towers, IPAF Training for the use of MEWPS as well as various other courses such as Safety Harness Training and First Aid.

How do I know which equipment will be right for the job?

Our Hire Desk are trained across the full range of work at height stock available and will be able to advise and assist cost-free.

How quickly can you supply the tower(s)?

We aim for a next-day turnaround, this is dependent on the transport routes and how busy we are at the time. It works both ways and could be earlier than your requested date.