THEY MAY not realise it, but anyone who has ever climbed a ladder, ascended a mobile access tower or used any other type of equipment to work at height has good reason to thank Glaswegian, Peter Bennett.
On average, 36 people die every year following a fall from height at work according to figures released by HSE. Peter has dedicated his career to minimising these numbers, and on 2 July 2019 his contribution to height safety was recognised when he was invested with an OBE by the Queen, at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
After studying at the University of Glasgow, Peter joined the Glasgow office of national scaffolding company Stephens & Carter in 1983 before moving to Turner Access. During this time, he was an active Council member and latterly Chair of PASMA serving as a Council member, Training Committee Chairman, and the President of IPAF.
Today, Peter leads three not-for-profit membership associations sharing the common goal of making it safer to work at height. When Peter first took on PASMA chair in 2006, he ran the organisation from his garage with the help of his first employee, Karen O’Neill. Under his leadership, PASMA now has a presence in 11 countries worldwide, over 350 members and almost 75,000 people taking its training courses on the safe use of towers each year.
In 2007 Peter was appointed Executive Director of The Ladder Association, as well as Chair of the Access Industry Forum, bringing together the principal trade associations involved in working at height.
Peter was instrumental in the creation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Work at Height in 2017, pushing for improved regulation to prevent serious injuries and fatalities. He is also a founding trustee of the No Falls Foundation, serves on several national and international standards-setting committees, sits on various advisory groups at the Health and Safety Executive, and contributes to the work of the Better Regulation Panel at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Peter said, “If you work at height, I want you to go home safely at the end of the day. From speaking to survivors of a fall from height, I know that the consequences are often life-changing and affect not just the victim but also their family, friends and colleagues.
“It’s so important that we continually strive to improve our understanding of why falls happen and strengthen the measures that keep people safe.”