Safety Tips for the Mast Climbing Work Platform
The Mast Climbing Work Platform is a tool of the trade primarily used to position personnel, along with their necessary tools and materials, to perform their work. The major causes of injury/fatality include lack of training*, improper use, falls, inadequate guardrail protection, collapses, improper planking and inadequate inspection.
- MCWP’s should be operated, used, erected and dismantled only by personnel who have been properly authorized, trained and familiarized with the specific model/machine.
- Equipment should not be accessed or operated unless supervised by a Competent Person at point of use.
- A pre-start inspection must be completed, by a Competent Person, at the beginning of each shift prior to use.
- Do not exceed the maximum load limitations (main deck and extensions) for the configuration of the MCWP, including both personnel and material.
- Make sure all inspections and maintenance are performed as required and according to manufacturer’s instructions. Report problems or malfunctions to the Competent Person.
- When dismantling, do not remove the ties unless the base and remaining ties can support the MCWP configuration without tipping.
- Make sure extensions are fully planked with scaffold grade plank or equivalent and properly secured.
- When moving operating the MCWP, always look in the direction of travel.
- Always install guardrails and mast guards. Ensure access gates and other access locations are protected with guardrails.
- Do not operate a MCWP under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances.
- Use all required personal fall protection equipment during erection, dismantling or when a fall hazard exists. Maximum distance from front unguarded edge to face of structure is 14” except for plastering/lathing which is 18”.
- Only use normal operating controls for the MCWP. Do not bypass or override the normal operating controls or safety devices.
- Check for hazards such as overhead obstructions, building protrusions, high voltage lines, inadequate base support, drop offs, debris and other unsafe conditions.
- Do not alter ties, platform or base without the written authorization of the manufacturer and Competent Person.
- Verify ground compaction or base conditions.
- Be aware of weather conditions and how they can affect the use of the MCWP.
For additional guidance on training, refer to ANSI A92.9, OSHA Regulations, or the IPAF/SIA US Mast Climbing Work Platform Safe Use Guidelines. Courtesy of OSHA Alliance Program and Scaffold Industry Association.
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
About the Author
Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at www.masonrymagazine.com.