It’s probably one of the most common questions heard when project managers and health and safety representatives are considering these platforms for their vertical access.
And following recent HSE alerts people up and down the UK are becoming more aware of mast climbers and their uses within the industry. With that in mind, it’s important to paint a picture of how safe mast climbers really are.
This blog explores the features that make them so helping you better understand what MCWP companies can do to ensure the highest levels of safety.
The Single Platform of A Mast Climber Creates A Safer Working Environment
The most striking thing about a mast climbing work platform, particularly when compared with scaffolding and other vertical access options is its single platform. Because this platform travels up and down the masts on the façade of the building, you can gain access part of the façade at any level while remaining on a single platform.
Not only does this approach have time and cost savings (after all how long will it take to erect scaffolding to the 40th floor?) it also makes mast climbers a far safer place to work in. The single platform means workers are always going to work at the optimum height, reducing the risk of muscular skeletal injuries, while also helping work get completed far quicker.
Mast Climber Safety - Control System
Powered by on-site electricity or a generator, a mast climber has a control system that brings its own degree of safety precautions.
Essentially the ‘brain’ of the mast climber, the control system ensures that the mast climber does what it needs to do and does so to the safest standards. This would include things like ensuring the platform stops in the correct places at the top and bottom of the mast, that the MCWP won’t move if the access gate is unlocked, or the emergency stop button is accidentally activated.
The control system of a mast climber also oversees the ascent and descent of the platform, utilising a “hold to run” system, so that it is level and at a safe speed. In the unlikely event that the twin platform is out of level during travel and one side is travelling slightly higher or lower than the other, then the control system will correct this, maintaining a regular and safe ascent or descent.
The purpose of the control system is to oversee all mechanical and electrical elements of the mast climber. Combined with the now standard centrifugal brake on all drive units, a brake which ensures a steady and gradual decline in the event of a catastrophic failure, mast climbing work platforms continue to provide your construction project with very few health and safety concerns.
Regular Servicing Improves Mast Climber Safety
The level of service that goes into mast climbers also helps highlight the safety of this form of vertical access.
Not only are regular checks completed by an on-site manager, but once the machines are complete and they are returned to BFT’s facilities they undergo further in-depth checks. The equivalent of giving your car an MOT after every journey!
As well as giving each machine a clean, every part of the mast climber is checked over to a strict 45-point checklist. This includes assessing everything from the drive unit and measuring the brake thickness, to greasing the racks and ensuring the ancillary equipment like deck modules, handrails and clips are all still in great condition. The whole process is fully documented for a complete audit trail which you are more than welcome to see.
Only with this approach to every mast climber work platform in the fleet can your safety and the safety of your trades be ensured.
Mast Climbers – Safe Vertical Access
HSE alerts are always welcome in this sector of the construction industry, every precaution to make an already safe form of vertical even safer is a positive.
This blog is intended to not only highlight the amends to the HSE but paint a picture of the safety features that mast climbers have.
There should be no concerns that mast climber safety is of the utmost importance to BFT Mastclimbing and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that each machine is manufactured and maintained to the highest safety standards.
If you’d like to speak to our mast climber experts, better understand what can be done for your project or learn about the levels of IPAF training required, get in touch today.