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A construction project by Lupini Construction
A construction project by Lupini Construction
March 8, 2013 7:00 AM CST

Modular stages on the rise

A look at why modular stages are on the rise


There are countless movies, television commercials and shows in which the characters are in sticky situations, and they find the best way to get out of a difficult situation is to climb aboard a modular stage that happens to be located outside the window of a building. Modular stages allow people to get out of difficult situations, but these stages aren't just for the benefit of Hollywood actors to make an impressive action sequence.

Construction companies are finding that they provide a great resource and solution to many in masonry and restoration needs. Modular stages are being utilized more over the traditional straight stages for efficiency and safety on the workplace. Traditional straight stages are ladders connected by planks, which provide a workspace. Modular stages are lending more advantages and safety features on the worksite.

Within recent years, scaffolding companies have a noticed an increase in modular use. There has been an increase within the last five years in instances of construction companies renting and purchasing modular staging for the purposes of masonry and restoration work. Construction companies doing masonry and restoration work are turning away from traditional straight stages for many reasons, and are realizing the advantages of modular staging. Not only do the modular stages allow for access at great heights, but also they provide numerous other functions.

One of the noteworthy advantages of modular staging is the ability to create custom stages to meet the specific needs of a job. Modular stages can be built to integrate and work with the different angles and corners of buildings, to allow easier and overall safer access to workers.

“Hi-Lo modular units lower project costs by their versatility/ease to be able to change different configurations to meet the access requirements a building creates on a project,” says Scott Lupini, VP of Lupini Construction.

The ability of modular stages to meet the needs for an individual job proves to be extremely valuable. Adaptability of modular staging allows for closer access to work surfaces, as opposed to a straight that might not exactly fit the job. This could cause workers to reach farther or work at drastic angles that might further endanger their safety. These unsafe practices can put unnecessary stress on motors and/or outriggers.

John Montecalvo of Caretti Restoration and Preservation Services shared an account of a job his company did at a hydro electrical plant in York Have, Pa. “For one drop we could use, say, a 20-foot rig, and for the next we needed a 30-foot rig,” Montecalvo says. “The reason the HI-LO system worked so well for us was that we could break it down and make it bigger or smaller as was needed. Also, the walkway that we had to work off of was only four feet wide, so there was no way to slide one rig past another. We had to make do with what we had.”

Another important safety attribute of modular stages is that they provide great strength and load capacity. The stages can hold heavier loads than the traditional straight stages. Depending on the various stage design/configuration and motor capacity, modular stages can have up to a 2,000-pound capacity, versus 750-pound capacities for straight stages. Having the ability to hold heavier loads eliminates the safety hazards and safety violations often associated with over-loading.

The access, availability, direct access to materials and supplies, and workers on a unit can increase work productivity and cut down on job time duration. But the most important feature is the general overall safety, provided from not only the modular unit itself, but also the fall protection equipment for workers.

When one measures the importance of worksite safety, options for customization of modular units for specific worksite needs, and overall efficiency, it is evident why modular stages are on the rise.

Originally published in Masonry magazine.

About the Author

Hi-Lo Climbers is one of the leading powered suspended scaffolding companies in North America.

Article courtesy of Hi-Lo Climbers, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit


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