5 Reasons why Mast Climbing Work Platforms are a popular alternative to scaffolding

Mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs) have been a reliable and established solution for construction access for many years. However, despite their long-standing track record of success, they have not been as well-known as traditional scaffolding.

Nonetheless, the construction industry is constantly evolving, and MCWPs are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional scaffolding. In this article, we will delve deeper and explore why MCWPs are gaining traction as a preferred choice for construction projects.

Safety

Mast climbers are quickly gaining popularity among contractors as safety and ergonomics become a bigger priority for contractors. They offer a secure and stable working environment, significantly reducing the risk of accidents and injuries caused by falling equipment or materials. And as mast climbers allow loads to be distributed anywhere on a work platform, it eliminates the need for heavy lifting and bending, which can result in fewer workers’ compensation claims and a reduction in insurance costs.

MCWPs are also much easier to anchor into the building’s structure than traditional scaffolding, which can minimize the risk of accidents caused by falling debris or equipment, as well as falls from elevated scaffolds and injuries associated with moving planks. Mast climbers allow trades to focus on their job more safely and efficiently, without the distraction of having to constantly ask for adaptions.

Working with traditional scaffolding often requires bricklayers to bend and strain their bodies in uncomfortable positions, which can result in long-term musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The ergonomic design of MCWPs means that bricklayers can work at the ideal body height, reducing the risk of MSDs. In fact, a survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that workers using mast climbers reported fewer MSDs than those using traditional scaffolding. Investing in MCWPs shows a commitment to safety and has a positive impact on the morale and productivity of your team.

Efficiency

Mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs) offer significant advantages over traditional scaffolding, especially in terms of time and productivity. Unlike scaffolding, which can easily take weeks to erect, MCWPs can be set up in a matter of hours, allowing workers to start the project sooner and complete it faster.

A building with 12 to 14 stories can take up to 30 days to scaffold (if we’re being optimistic and assuming your workers maintain 100% efficiency the entire time with minimal breaks) whereas a mast climber can be assembled and disassembled within a total of 4 days. That’s an extra 26 days to get things done and give your productivity a big boost! MCWPs are also easier to adjust, making it possible for workers to quickly reposition the platform to access different areas of the construction site without having to take down and rebuild the entire structure.

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

Mast climbers can be erected and dismantled in a shorter time frame than traditional scaffolding, and the speedy setup and adjustability of MCWPs can prevent costly delays and downtimes that are common in construction projects.

All of these factors contribute to an overall increase in productivity and cost savings.

Cost-Effectiveness

When compared to traditional scaffolding, mast climbing work platforms are sure to provide a significant cost savings in the long run. Quick setup and dismantling of the mast climbers can reduce labour costs, while also increasing productivity and shortening project timelines, which translate to dramatic cost savings. The larger and more complex your project is, the more benefits of cost-effectiveness you will leverage from using mast climbing work platforms. The return on investment comes in fast and high with mast climbers, and this is a notion that a lot contractors have now realised.

Versatility

Mast climbing work platforms are highly versatile and can be adapted to a range of construction projects, from high-rise buildings to smaller renovation projects. Different types of MCWPs can be adjusted to fit the specific needs of the project, including the height, length, and width of the platform. In fact, MCWPs can even be used for curved facades and round corners with ease – BFT have successfully completed a completely circular building project using mast climbers.

This makes mast climbing work platforms a more flexible option for construction companies looking for a versatile and adaptable solution. The versatility of MCWPs opens up a world of possibilities for construction companies, allowing them to take on new and exciting projects with full confidence while optimising efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Accessibility

Mast climbing work platforms offer improved accessibility to hard-to-reach areas with minimal obstructions. Mast climbing work platforms provide workers with closer access to the work area, which improves their visibility and allows them to complete their tasks more efficiently. The clear access to façade areas provided by mast climbers is especially beneficial when installing large panels.

With traditional scaffolding, maneuvering large panels through scaffold trusses can be cumbersome and time-consuming. MCWPs eliminate the need to navigate around scaffold trusses, resulting in improved work quality and faster completion times. Additionally, mast climbing work platforms can be adjusted to accommodate uneven surfaces, making them a suitable option for construction sites with challenging terrain.

Social Value

The benefits of mast climbing work platforms over traditional scaffolding are not limited to construction workers and companies, but also extend to local residents. MCWPs can be installed in significantly less time and require 75% fewer deliveries to the site than traditional scaffolding, meaning minimised noise and disruption for the residents as well as reduced carbon footprint impact.

Unlike traditional scaffolding, which can block light and views, mast climbing work platforms are designed to minimize disruption and maintain residents’ access to fresh air and natural daylight. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light and views can have a positive impact on mental and physical well-being.

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