Are Mast Climbers Safer Than Scaffolding?

Scaffolding and mast climbers are both incredibly safe forms of vertical access, however looking at IPAF reported incidents show that those from mast climbers are nothing near those associated with scaffolding.

How safe is your vertical access? If you’re in the UK, then the chances are vertical access is incredibly safe and is structured around a set of parameters and guidance created by both the industry and HSE. But when you’re making the decision around vertical access you want to know that the option you take is the safest it can be.

That’s where mast climbers become the access of choice for your project. After exploring some of the data in the vertical access industry, we’ll discuss what mast climber features make them a safe option for your next construction project.

How Many Accidents Are On Scaffolding?

Let’s start by stating that scaffolding and mast climbers are both incredibly safe forms of vertical access. The UK has one of the safest records when it comes to workplace accidents. The HSE reports that in 2020/21 39 construction workers were fatally injured. Of the total fatalities of workers injured in the UK, 35 of those were from falling from a height, and 17 were from strikes by moving objects.

Both of these are common accidents that can occur in and around the vertical access sector.In fact, NASC, the national access and scaffolding confederation recorded its second-lowest number of accidents and injuries in the 2021 report.While the reported accidents don’t specify whether they were on the scaffolding, mast climber or another form of vertical access it doesn’t take much to speak to those professionals using the different forms to hear first-hand experience.

You only have to log into the IPAF reported incidents to see that those from mast climbers are near misses or bumps and bruises, nothing near the falls from height and those associated with scaffolding. We recently spoke to mast climber advocate and Contracts Director at CARA Brickwork Neil Allen who confidently said, “I can honestly say that I or any of my lads have never been hurt while working on a mast climber and you feel a lot more closed in and safe.”Sometimes, all it takes is a change of vertical access equipment to make you not only feel safer but be safer, too.

Mast Climber Safety: Minimising Fire Risks

Minimising the risk of fires on construction projects is essential. With changes to building regulations and the choices of materials used on projects, every action is being taken to reduce the risk of catastrophe.

One of these avenues is through the removal of combustible cladding and the replacement of Class-A-rated materials. While we’ve discussed the benefits that mast climber work platforms can bring to these projects, there’s also another means by which mast climbers can benefit. If the project you’re working on is taking every precaution to reduce the risk of fire, then it makes sense that your vertical access also helps minimise any threat, too.

Every means of access has a minimal fire risk however due to the Mast climbers having non-combustible modular units this can therefore further reduce the likelihood of fire.

Mast Climbers: Health & Safety Advantages

When you understand the musculoskeletal injuries common for those workers regularly completing tasks on scaffolding, it becomes clear that alternatives can have better long-term health advantages.

This is because a mast climber allows every job to be completed at the optimum height. Rather than being hunched over, or stretching up on step ladders, a mast climber can safely be driven to the level in order to complete the task in the safest and healthiest manner. When you consider this along with the fire safety advantages, and anecdotal and statistical advantages mast climbers have, it becomes clear how safe an option they are for your next project.

Do you want to make your project safer? Speak to our team who will be able to create a bespoke mast climber vertical solution for your next construction project.

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