As previously reported the two men both aged 77 fell from the toppled tower at a church in Peterhead, Scotland on 18th August. George Forbes died at the scene and Alistair Buchan died in hospital five days later.
According to reports, the men were painting the building as volunteers when the incident happened.
Although the exact cause or circumstances of the accident is still unknown, photos from the scene show a toppled “DIY scaffolding tower” that PASMA says is a type of tower that is not safe to use, ever, in any situation.
In a blog post on the PASMA website, the association say they are deeply saddened, shocked about the incident but also angered that non-compliant ‘DIY towers’ are still being sold and hired in the UK.
“They’re sometimes sold as ‘DIY towers’, a term that misleads unsuspecting members of the public into believing it’s a recommended product for a quick bit of painting or maintenance,” says PASMA.
“The truth is, these are flimsy, dangerous towers that are not recommended by anyone, for any purpose – at least, not by anyone who cares about the safety of the people using them.
Irresponsible manufacturers, importers and suppliers choose to cut costs by offering a tower that doesn’t comply with any recognised standard, so they can leave out essential components and basic safety features that prevent towers toppling or people falling.”
“Calling it a ‘DIY tower’ is a ruse to convince buyers they’re getting a ‘no frills’ bargain. But stabilisers, guardrails, secure platforms and a safe means of access are essential safeguards, not optional extras. Stripping them out means the tower is cheap to buy, but could cost you your life.”
“And it’s not just home DIYers who get caught out. These towers are finding their way into workplaces too, putting even more people at enormous risk.”
PASMA have put together some general guidance on how to choose safe towers to work from that can be found here.