Mast climbing work platforms, also call mast climbers or mast scaffolding, may offer significant gains in productivity and convenience compared with other types of scaffolding. In addition to being quicker to erect and dismantle, they can be adjusted to position workers at the optimum location for performing work quickly and precisely.
A survey of 42 masonry contractors who use mast climbers found:
- Roughly 70% cited increased productivity as the greatest advantage of this equipment;
- More than 60% said mast climbers save time; and
- More than 50% viewed them as safer than other types of scaffolding.
Mast climbers have been used in Europe since the 1960s and in the U.S. since the 1980s. A mast climber is a vertical tower typically composed of modular stacked units resting on either a mobile chassis or stationary beams, a work platform that travels up and down the tower, and a drive unit that moves the platform up and down.
The height at which mast climbers are used varies according to their specific application and type of system. The equipment can be customized to suit specific building profiles and project needs, and requires a smaller footprint than other forms of scaffolding. Mast climbers also have a very large load capacity, allowing vertical transfer of large loads and workers together on a single platform.
NIOSH Mast Climbing Work Platform Daily Inspection Walkthrough Tool: This free daily inspection walkthrough tool allows mast climber users to navigate through what is commonly inspected during a pre-shift daily inspection. When prompted, click on the orange outlined section and the related inspection point will be displayed. Please note the pictures displayed are of a typical mast climbing work platform configuration and do not include all set-ups that may be present on site.
Mast Climbing Work Platform Presentation, Kevin O’Shea, Director of Safety and Training – Mast Climber LLC; CPWR Technology Transfer Conference, May 2012.
The New Generation of Work Platforms, Mast Scaffolding, presented by OSHA as part of SWRI-OSHA Alliance Powerpoint Presentation (begins on slide 6). February 20, 2003.
How Scaffolding Affects Productivity, The Aberdeen Group, 1996.
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