Traditional scaffolding has long been the go-to access method in construction, but cost and safety concerns are driving more and more construction professionals to search for alternatives. Surprisingly, despite being well-suited to 85% of construction projects, mast climbers are often overlooked, especially in brickwork.

This comprehensive blog will show you how mast climbers can be a game-changing scaffolding alternative and transform bricklaying through real case studies and insights.

 

Chapters included:

  1. The Advantages of Mast Climbers vs. Traditional Scaffolding for Bricklayers
  2. The Power of MCWP’s Height Adjustability for Bricklayers
  3. Key Insights from the IPAF Global Safety Report 2023
  4. The Risk & Reward of Switching To Mast Climbers
  5. Double Stacked Mast Climbers: The Solution for High-Rise Construction
  6. Health & Safety: MCWP Training for Bricklayers
  7. From Resistance to Acceptance: Mast Climbers in the Construction Industry
  8. Why Would A Mastclimbing Company Join the Association of Brickwork Contractors?
  9. Access Method Insights From Bricklaying Expert – Martin Kersse
  10. How To Convince Your Brickwork Contractor To Work With Mast Climbers
  11. Unlock Massive Savings With Mast Climbers: Brick Cladding on High-Rise Buildings
  12. 7 FAQs About Mast Climbers for Bricklaying and Brick Cladding

 

Looking for more information? Click on each header to check out the expanded posts, where we look at each of these areas one by one in more detail, offering practical advice and expert insights on staircase projects.

 

The Advantages of Mast Climbers vs. Traditional Scaffolding for Bricklayers

Traditionally, scaffolding has been the go-to method for accessing elevated areas in construction projects, with many trades relying on this form of access. However, the construction industry is evolving, and the need for cost-effectiveness and efficiency is driving the exploration of alternative methods.

 

Mast climbers are suited to 85% of construction projects (brickwork included), and they present numerous advantages that improve productivity, safety, and cost-efficiency on construction sites.

 

The choice between mast climbers and traditional scaffolding depends on the project's size, scope, and logistical considerations.

 

Brickworker contractors often recommend mast climbers for any project exceeding four stories. However, it’s important to be well-informed about all the available options and to choose the most suitable approach for each of your brickwork projects to achieve the best possible outcome.

 

 

Features

Mast Climbers

Scaffolding

Efficiency

Streamlined process with shorter setup time and height adjustability

Longer setup time, more complex with limited adjustability

Working Height

Easily adjustable for comfort and efficiency

Requires frequent overreaching and bending

Quality Of Work

Stable platform for precise and uniform work

Potential for inconsistent quality and defects

Safety

Secure working environment with safety features

Higher risk of fall

Ease Of Material Handling

Simplified material transport and improved workflow

Requires more labour-intensive hoisting and coordination

 

The Power of MCWP’s Height Adjustability for Bricklayers

 

Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs) offer a transformative solution for bricklayers in construction. Traditional scaffolding systems being a primary reason of project delays and safety issues, have been proven inadequate for accommodating the diverse height and position requirements of brickwork. MCWPs are increasingly chosen by bricklayers for their flexibility, safety, and efficiency.

 

MCWPs allow workers to effortlessly reach various heights and provide a secure and adaptable working environment. By eliminating the need to constantly climb up and down scaffolds, they reduce the risk of strain and injury, resulting in improved productivity.

 

The flexible and precise height adjustability enables workers to access different levels without frequent adaptations or time-consuming reassembly. This makes MCWPs a more reliable and efficient choice for vertical construction.

 

Key Insights from the IPAF Global Safety Report 2023

 

The IPAF Global Safety Report for 2023 has given us valuable insights into the trends and data related to the use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs), Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs), and hoists in various industries. The report highlights key points regarding incident reporting, industry sectors, and specific equipment types.

 

 

Construction Incident Reporting

  • 759 incident reports in 2022.
  • Reported from 34 countries.
  • 15% increase in reports compared to 2021.
  • 21% increase in the number of reporting countries.
  • Signifies a growing emphasis on safety reporting in the industry.

MEWPs and MCWPs Reporting

  • 3a-type machines (scissor lifts) were the most reported MEWPs (26%).
  • Followed by 3b types (boom lifts) (24%).
  • Mast climbers constituted only 1% of reported incidents, indicating their safety.

 

Top Reporting Countries

  • The UK contributed over 60% of the incident reports in 2022.
  • The US and the Republic of Korea followed with nearly 20% each.
  • The number of reporting countries increased from 28 in 2021 to 34 in 2022.

Most Reported Industry Sectors

  • Rental activity, construction, and facilities management were frequent contributors to incident reports.
  • Facilities management incidents decreased compared to the previous year.

Safety Initiatives and Outcomes

  • Positive impact of safety initiatives and increased engagement with incident reporting.
  • The introduction of the ePAL app facilitated easier and more immediate reporting.
  • Mandatory accident reporting in some countries saw increased participation.

Future Vertical Access Considerations

  • Ongoing efforts are needed to enhance reporting and safety measures.
  • Calls for comprehensive reporting from all countries using powered access equipment, including MCWPs and hoists.

 

 

The Risk & Reward of Switching To Mast Climbers

 

The construction industry is increasingly seeking more efficient and safer access solutions. Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs) have gained popularity in the field, offering transformative benefits for construction projects, especially in brickwork. However, some companies remain hesitant to adopt MCWPs due to certain misconceptions and perceived risks.

 

Misconceptions include unfamiliarity and reluctance to try something new. Yet, real-life success stories demonstrate cost savings and worker endorsements, dispelling these concerns over time.

 

The actual risks lie in whether your choice of MCWPs supplier is reliable or not. With the right supplier, businesses can transition seamlessly, enjoying benefits like enhanced safety, increased efficiency, reduced physical strain on workers, cost-effectiveness, and lower upfront expenses.

 

Double Stacked Mast Climbers: The Solution for High-Rise Construction

 

As the construction of high-rise buildings becomes more common, the demand for safer and more efficient access solutions is on the rise. Despite this, many projects still rely on traditional methods like scaffolding due to misconceptions and hesitation.

 

Scaffolding, while widely accepted, has drawbacks such as delays and rising costs. Mast climbers are a proven alternative that has been in use for years, providing safe and efficient access to multiple levels of high-rise facades.

 

Double-stacked mast climbers are particularly suitable for high-rise construction, especially in buildings exceeding 13 stories. They offer commercial viability and expedite project timelines, requiring proper planning and oversight.

 

Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs) are gaining popularity in modern construction for their enhanced safety and efficiency. They minimise risks associated with scaffolding and provide controlled vertical access, reducing downtime and labour costs.

 

Double-stacked mast climbers involve installing two platforms on the same masts, doubling vertical access and enabling concurrent work on multiple levels. This significantly speeds up construction in tall buildings, where scaffolding can lead to prolonged setup and dismantling times, increased labour costs, and potential delays.

 

The benefits of double-stacked mast climbers include:

  • simultaneous operation at different heights
  • reduced downtime
  • enhanced vertical access efficiency
  • and substantial cost savings

 

They streamline operations by providing rapid vertical access for workers and materials, minimising labour hours, shortening project duration, and eliminating the need for extensive scaffolding materials and equipment.

 

Health & Safety: MCWP Training for Bricklayers

Mast climbers are suited to 85% of construction projects (brickwork included), and it’s getting more important to have well-trained mast climber operators on the job site as these platforms become increasingly popular in the industry.

 

Here are a few things you need to know about MCWP training:

 

  1. Operating a Mast Climbing Work Platform (MCWP) requires a minimum of two individuals on each platform, and one of them to be a trained Operator possessing an IPAF license.
  2. Only operators familiarised in specific aspects of the MCWP should be allowed to operate it.
  3. An IPAF license is necessary for operating MCWPs, and it requires renewal every five years to stay updated with the latest safety practices.
  4. Employers are responsible for arranging MCWP training for their operators, ensuring they are knowledgeable about equipment controls, safety systems, and emergency procedures.

 

To improve industry safety standards, BFT training courses cover the safe use, installation and inspection of MCWPs.

 

BFT are currently offering (Association Of Brickwork Contractors) AofBC members a 25% discount for their training requirements as more and more brickwork contractors are using mast climbers and realising the benefits they bring.

 

After the training, your operatives will:

 

●          Be competent to operate MCWP’s and have complete familiarity with safety systems

●          Have complete knowledge of all emergency and safety descent systems

●          Have full knowledge of Safe Working Load and load distribution parameters as defined on load charts

●          Have complete knowledge of daily MCWP inspection procedures and requirements

 

Contact our Head of Safety, Health, Environment & Quality Steve McEwan (steve.mcewan@bftmastclimbing.com) to learn more about our IPAF training courses and certification.

 

From Resistance to Acceptance: Mastclimbers in the Construction Industry

 

Despite the clear benefits offered by Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs), some companies in the construction industry resist moving away from traditional scaffolding. This resistance often stems from the comfort of familiarity and a reluctance to challenge the status quo of established practices, even when it’s commonly known that scaffolding has been a main contributor to issues and delays on construction sites.

 

The psychology of sticking to the familiar is a significant factor. People tend to hesitate to embrace something unfamiliar, fearing they might be the first to do so. However, once they learn more about MCWPs and see real-life success stories, their apprehension tends to dissipate, and they become more comfortable with the idea.

 

To overcome this resistance, open discussions and active listening to objections are crucial. Objections might be based on past negative experiences, but they could also relate to issues like a lack of planning or poor communication with MCWP providers. A well-informed approach, involving research and collaboration with industry experts, can help make better decisions when selecting vertical access methods.

 

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) can play a vital role in challenging “norms” in the construction industry, as it creates learning environments where professionals can ask questions and explore alternative options, such as mast climbers as a scaffolding alternative.

 

Why Would A Mastclimbing Company Join the Association of Brickwork Contractors?

 

Have you heard of the narrative that "brickwork contractors 'hate' mast climbers"? Even though it’s a myth, we learn the need to understand the trade better. BFT partnered with the Association of Brickwork Contractors (AofBC) to establish more effective communication with brickwork contractors and gain insights into their scepticism toward mast climbers.

 

The myth that brickwork contractors dislike mast climbers often stems from their exclusion in access strategy decisions made by main contractors. This collaboration allows us to connect with brickwork contractors, engage in direct interactions, and share the value of mast climbing technology while also receiving feedback from industry experts.

 

The partnership ensures that the voices and expertise of brickwork contractors are integrated into the development of access strategies.

 

Access Method Insights From Bricklaying Expert – Martin Kersse

 

In a recent interview with Martin Kersse, an experienced figure in the bricklaying industry, discussed the challenges faced by bricklayers when using scaffolding and the benefits of utilising mast climbers, particularly in multi-storey buildings. 

 

Kersse highlighted the discomfort and issues associated with using scaffolding in multi-storey buildings, such as overreaching and reduced visibility. From years of experience, he suggested that mast climbers offer a more efficient and comfortable solution.

 

Kersse also pointed out that some developers continue to default to scaffolding, despite the advantages of mast climbers. He noticed mast climbers can significantly reduce project timelines and improve working conditions for bricklayers, he’d been advocating for mast climbers since.

 

The construction industry needs to start looking at this transformative scaffolding alternative for brickwork projects, to bring better working conditions for bricklayers, and improve work quality and project efficiency.