MATS Conference 2018

The second annual Mast and Tower Safety Group (MATS) Conference was held at the Headingley Stadium, Leeds on the 11th April building after a good first innings at the 2017 inaugural event.  The event was attended by over 140 telecoms/broadcast colleagues and supported by 14 exhibitors/suppliers showcasing a number of innovative products and services relating to work at height/rigging safety.



The batting order was as follows:

  • Mark Arthur, Chief Executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club opened the conference and welcomed everyone to historic Headingley, a world class venue that is home to YCCC, Leeds Rhinos Rugby League side and Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union side.
  • Alan Trueman (Arqiva) introduced himself as the new chair of MATS, having taken over from Tony Taylor (EE) at the beginning of the year. The membership, aims and objectives, and group strategy were outlined.
  • Teresa Mullen (Founder & Director of Paradigm Human Performance Ltd) gave a presentation on “interrupting the launch sequence” to reduce the consequences of unwanted outcomes triggered by human errors. Slides are available here but for anyone requiring more narrative around them please contact Teresa Mullen on
  • Tony Taylor (EE) gave an update on the MATS Group ownership of climbing and mast rescue training content. The initial and revalidation climbing and mast rescue course content has been agreed and launched on 2nd April so all Arqiva accepted training providers should now be delivering this course content. Rooftop and Radio-Frequency Awareness course content is currently being worked on and will be launched later in 2018. MATS will be looking to onboard an independent approval and quality assurance provider and indicative costs to MATS, the training providers and to employers was given. Tony reminded delegates of the need to ensure a high level of competence (including training standards) amongst climbers and showed the Nokia/8Point8 video which powerfully shows the human impacts of a serious fall from height.
  • Jenny Atkinson and Jason Varley (8Point8) complimented Tony’s training presentation with an update on the Trailblazer Wireless Communications Rigger Apprenticeship scheme that they have developed with the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA), Dael Telecom, Principal Telecom, Huawei, Nokia, ARCC, IRIS and Telefonica. The formalised standard will deliver a number of benefits including the delivery of safe, skilled individuals into the industry.
  • Allen Smith from the Dropped Objects Prevention Scheme gave the conference an insight into how the oil and gas sector manage the risk of dropped objects. The scheme works to raise awareness of consequences and controls around both ‘dynamic’ and ‘static’ dropped objects, and the sector is now relatively mature in terms of understanding and control. With clear synergies between activities that take place aloft in both Oil and Gas, and Telecoms & Broadcast sectors, Allens presentation will impact upon MATS strategy in future.
  • Paul Roddis, Training Manager for IPAF, gave an update on what the federation is doing to promote understanding of risks associated with working on or around telecommunications equipment, by operators of powered access equipment. Paul clarified the situation regarding the use of lanyards in boom type platforms and vertical lifts as well as introducing the rescue hierarchy flowchart.
  • Finally, a Question Time panel answered questions from the floor and MATS took the opportunity to ask the delegates questions in the interests of collaboration which will inform future direction of group


The conference was supported by the following exhibitors and further information can be found at their websites here:


Feedback from the conference delegates is being collated and will be shared in due course on the website. The MATS Group would like to thank all delegates and exhibitors for attending the conference which we hope everyone beneficial. If you have any specific ideas or suggestions for future events please email