Summer 2017 Newsletter



The Mast and Tower Safety Group is an industry forum for owners and operators of masts and towers in the UK used for broadcast and telecommunications. The group’s main purpose is to provide Health and Safety /RF guidance to the industry.

This newsletter is intended to provide an update on recently published guidance, current issues, and what’s on the horizon.


Young Persons / Inexperienced Heights Workers


A near fatality to a Young person who was working at height caused a real stir within the industry and has led to actions being taken that will improve the overall management of those workers most vulnerable and at risk when working at height.

Many infrastructure owners are considering prohibiting ‘young persons’ from being allowed to work in an operational capacity on their structures outside of a planned apprenticeship scheme. Additionally, vulnerable or inexperienced workers (often between the ages

of 18-21) will be required by many infrastructure owners to gain 3 months relative experience working alongside a team of at least 2 skilled and experienced team members before being able to be counted as part of the normal operational team.


Competency Log Book


Sometimes the old ways are the best ways! More and more questions are being raised regarding how site visitors are able to prove competency other than delivering a pile of certificates. The good old log book is one way that has survived the test of time and if required / re- implemented across the board would certainly allow site owners to be able to view a person’s competency more easily. An information gathering exercise will be launched to establish what the industry has in place / in the pipeline with a view to creating a system that works for the industry as a whole and reflects 2017 ways of working.




Government reform is putting employers in the driving seat of developing new Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards.

Business Innovation and Skills are encouraging employers, training providers and awarding organisations to work together to design new apprenticeship standards for occupations within their sectors.

MATS will work alongside associated companies within our industry to fully understand the options and where appropriate help develop and promote suitable schemes.


MATS Annual Conference – A Huge Success


The first MATS annual conference was held at the Network Rail Conference Centre in Warwickshire recently. It was well attended and most of the key players in the industry attended. PFPE suppliers helped sponsor the event and set up display stands and presented some key speeches during the day. These included:

  • MATS – Who are we and the aims of the group
  • Tool Tethering by Heightec
  • Drones by XCell Aerial Surveys
  • HSE strategy
  • Challenges within todays industry
  • After an accident at height – Ensuring you learn from it!
  • Overviews of MATS proposals on WAH training and competence
  • RF Register update
  • Control of EMF at Work Regulations

The event provided much opportunity for networking and catching up with old colleagues and friends alike and in the email world we live in, a great chance to put a face to voices and emails.

The MATS chair Tony Taylor of EE hosted proceedings and explained to the industry that MATS primary intention is to be the “face of the industry” as a whole rather than simply being a group of Infrastructure Owners.

It was explained that this is the challenge now faced by MATS but it requires the full support of the industry as a whole and every opportunity will be offered to encourage this going forward. Initial topics that MATS will be addressing are:

1) A portfolio of training courses for the main skills required. The courses will be created by MATS with the required consultation. The course content and delivery will be audited by MATS going forwardandthe auditing costs will be met by industry as a whole through registration costs that will be charged by the training providers and passed onto the delegates on a non-profit principle.

2) A suitable Competency Scheme that all parties within the industry would be expected to follow. Details will be announced shortly re how this may play out.

3) Various questions were raised on the day and these will be answered and logged on the website shortly.


IPAF and MATS Partnership


The two groups have had some introductory discussions and there are a number of opportunities for us to work together to benefit the industry. Initial couple of suggestions are:

1) Createaspecific industry based IPAF course.

2) Share accident and incident data to highlight trends and improvement areas.


RF Safety Course – Arqiva Approved


This course is presently being reviewed and once the review is complete, the Arqiva approval will be adopted by MATS without significant foreseeable changes. The course will still be an Arqiva requirement but we feel this is a significant step in showing that MATS will be the face of the industry going forward.


Useful Links


HSE EMF information

National Register of RF Workers

IOSH Communications and Media Group:


MATS Group Members


MATS members include:

• Airwave Motorola Solutions
• Arqiva
• Babcock
• BT
• Cellnex Telecom (Shere)
• EE
• KCOM Group
• MoD
• National Crime Agency
• Network Rail Telecom
• O2 Telefonica
• Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG)
• Vodafone




Look out for the next MATS Group newsletter in winter 2017 and if you have any articles for inclusion please email