Some companies continue to grapple with persistent resistance when it comes to shifting away from the conventional use of scaffolding to adopting mast climbers, despite the evident advantages offered by Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs).
The question that naturally arises is, why?
Often, such resistance finds its roots in the comfort of tradition and familiarity. Construction professionals tend to avoid confronting the issues associated with longstanding practices, like scaffolding, perhaps due to a fear of disrupting established routines or a hesitance to challenge the status quo. Yet, we cannot ignore the fact that scaffolding remains a primary source of issues and delays on construction sites.
According to Martin Kersse, a bricklaying expert of over 20 years:
“Building through the scaffold means you reach up and you reach down, which, from my perspective, is a recipe for disaster.
One, you're overreaching, and two, you're what we call nosebleeding. Both of them culminate in shoddy work, in basically not being able to keep control of the quality because you often can't see what you're doing if you nosebleed…
… I can't see how you can't reduce the programme on mast climbers versus scaffold by at least a third, if not a half.”
It's time to recognise the transformative potential of mast climbers — one that addresses the shortcomings of scaffolding and can substantially enhance efficiency and safety on construction sites.
The Psychology of Sticking to the Familiar
The resistance to change is a phenomenon deeply entrenched in the construction industry.
People often hesitate to try something unfamiliar, not necessarily because it's new, but because it lies beyond their usual comfort zone. primarily due to the fear of being the first to take the plunge. It's a natural inclination driven by uncertainty about the outcomes, especially when it involves something like vertical access which can have a direct impact on the project's timeline and progress.
Many worry that they'd be the trailblazers, not only within their own organisation but within the industry as a whole. This fear of taking the lead can be paralysing and hinder them from taking that crucial step forward.
However, what becomes evident through conversations and deeper exploration is that once they learn more about the scene and see real-life success stories of mast climbers adoption, they'd come to realise that mast climbers aren't as novel as they initially thought. Their apprehension starts to go away as they see the growing popularity of mast climbers as a scaffolding alternative in the construction industry.
In fact, we regularly get told that they can spot mast climbers being used elsewhere the very next day, so they are now more comfortable in considering mast climbers because some construction companies they know are using them down the road.
Overcoming Resistance To Mastclimbers In Construction Industry
When confronted with objections to adopting mast climbers, it's important that we engage in open discussions and really listen to the reasons behind the “No”.
These objections could stem from bad experiences from the past, such as machines breaking down due to an unreliable provider. However, they may also be related to broader issues, such as a lack of proper planning or poor communication with the MCWP provider to devise an access solution tailored to the specific needs of a project.
To overcome the resistance against mast climbers, we must adopt a proactive problem-solving approach and look into the underlying cause behind it — Was it really a problem with mast climbers themselves or was it the MCWP supplier they’ve worked with?
Much like how one wouldn't entirely rule out renting a car in their lives ever again based on a single past unfavourable experience, rather than completely disregarding the option of mast climbers, we should encourage a more informed and discerning approach. By conducting thorough research and collaborating with industry experts, you can make well-informed decisions when selecting the vertical access methods that best suit your projects.