Vital Safety Warning on Mixing and Matching of Tower Components

WERNERCO, the world’s leading access equipment solutions specialist and manufacturer of the BoSS access towers, has issued a clear warning against the mixing and matching of tower components from multiple manufacturers on a single structure, citing safety and liability concerns.

As the exclusive manufacturer of essential components which are used to construct the BoSS Ladderspan, BoSS Clima and all other derivatives of BoSS Aluminium Mobile Access Towers, WernerCo is best placed to advise on the safety concerns of mixing components from differing manufacturers into a single unit.

Mixing and Matching of Tower Components

Dave Elson, UK Compliance Manager for WernerCo brands, including BoSS, explains: “The BoSS Mobile Access Tower systems have been designed, manufactured and independently certified to the very latest relevant European Standard, EN 1004-1:2020 which includes specification requirements for materials, dimensions, maximum working loads and safety calculation reports, and EN 1004-2:2021, which covers instruction manuals.

“These have been verified by the internationally recognised and independent third party notified body, TUV SUD, using only original BoSS components.

“Recently, the Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association (PASMA), a leading trade organisation which specialises in access solutions, published a computability protocol which outlines the strict conditions that must be met before the construction and use of a Hybrid tower.

Compatibility Protocol

“These strict conditions state that a 3rd party certification, from a UKAS or EA accredited body, shall be obtained for ‘Hybrid’ towers in all permitted combinations of components and that this certification shall satisfy the full requirements of both the Compatibility Protocol and EN 1004-1:2020.

“Furthermore, the protocol states that instruction manuals for ‘Hybrid’ towers shall have 3rd party certification to EN 1004-2:2021, from a UKAS or EA accredited body, and shall contain sufficient information to clearly explain any operational differences between the components of the ‘Compatible’ tower and ‘Other’ tower.

“In this instance the ‘Compatible’ tower is the one made from non-BoSS original parts whereas the ‘Other’ tower is the original BoSS product and components.”

“It is here where potential confusion lies as, to the best of our knowledge, there are no 3rd party approved bodies that are able to supply certification for ‘Hybrid’ towers as required by the Protocol. This means that any ‘Hybrid’ tower falls outside the requirements of the Protocol and therefore cannot be constructed or used.

Vital Safety Warning

“To ensure the safety of professionals using access solutions, transparency and clarity is key. It is our opinion that this Compatibility Protocol creates unnecessary complexity and confusion, with room left for error and misinterpretation that could result in serious injury or worse for users, and leave manufacturers open to increased costs and complications around product liability,” continues Dave.

“Indeed, the concept of ‘Hybrid’ towers is in direct conflict with the spirit of the EN 1004 standard, that any inclusion of non-Werner UK supplied tower components within a BoSS tower structure invalidates the product approval certification as provided by TUV SUD meaning that if such components are used, the tower structure is no longer certified as meeting the requirements of EN 1004-1:2020 – which would void warranty in most cases.

“Ultimately, our position at WernerCo is clear: we cannot support or endorse the mixing of tower components from different manufacturers, and are educating our customers to this effect to help ensure that safety and compliance remains at the very forefront of our industry.”

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