Astra Access Safety Training completes contract in Africa


A training company which began in a house in the Huddersfield has moved into the international market with contracts in Africa.

Now Astra Access Safety Training Ltd – which was set up in 2008 by director Mick Aston in his spare room at home in Honley with the help of a £2,000 grant – is aiming to further expand its business overseas

Astra has just completed a month-long project in Uganda and Cameroon after being asked to deliver training in use of scaffolding and working at heights at the two locations in the African oilfields.

Mr Aston said: ” Our name had been given to the HR department at the London office of the oil company.”When they asked if we would be interested in the training, I presumed it would be in the UK or offshore, but when the girl said it was in Africa, it was a bit of a shock.”We sorted out the logistics of flights, accommodation and transport whilst in Africa, then the next thing we were there delivering the training courses.”

Said Mr Aston: “Although the training was in Africa, the UK health, safety and scaffolding criteria was followed as it is highly regarded as the benchmark throughout the world.”

This year has also seen Astra delivering overseas training in France, Ireland and on a barge in the North Sea that is installing wind turbines. Another trip to Africa looks likely and training in Dubai, America and Europe are in the pipeline.

Back in Yorkshire the company has invested £100,000 at its 18-metre high, 50,000sq ft workspace in Wakefield by creating a full-size four-bedroom house and 10-metre high steel-frame structure, both for demonstration and scaffold training purposes. The firm has also put in a suite of classrooms and will incorporate new offices soon.

Said Mr Aston: “The huge base means we can improve and expand our comprehensive package of health and safety consultancy and training services – all designed to support workers operating at height, whether that is on scaffolding, mobile towers, elevating work platforms such as cherry pickers and scissor lifts, or simply on ladders and steps.”

Astra has worked with clients in the construction, utilities, cleaning and other industries for the last four years.

Their services are targeted at any business where people get their feet off the ground.

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