Mast Climber Industry Responds to Recent Equipment Accidents | Construction News

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA) issued a joint statement to emphasize the importance of training, continuing education, and equipment inspections following the two mast-climbing work platform accidents that occurred in Raleigh, N.C., and Toronto, Ontario. 

"Since their introduction in the 1960s, mast-climbing work platforms (MCWPs) have been used extensively without incident throughout many sites worldwide and in the USA and Canada," the joint statement read. "MCWPs are popular with an array of trades including the masonry, stucco, glass and refurbishment industries where they can offer safety, productivity and ergonomic benefits. When installed and used correctly they are as safe as, or safer than, other forms of powered access or scaffold."

Both organizations emphasize that appropriate training must be provided for mast climbers to be used safely. "Although there are no specific national training regulations for MCWPs in the United States or Canada, employer education and outreach is a continual priority of the industry," the statement read, adding that manufacturers and industry bodies currently have robust training programs for erectors and operators of mast-climbing work platforms. 

According to IPAF and the SAIA, the mast-climbing industry will continue to take a proactive approach to employer education and appropriate training and will continue to work with OSHA to find opportunities to reinforce this requirement.