Key to US growth

19 June 2008

Kevin O'Shea, who leads the training activities of Mastclimbers LLC in Atlanta, Georgia, US, draws parallels in the US mast climbing market to that of the UK 10 to 12 years ago. "We have a weak design standard coupled with weak regulation for implementation. Unregulated use is dangerous," he tells AI.

Key in Mr O'Shea's mind to realising the potential of the US market is training. "People will gravitate to mast climbers because of their safe reputation," he says. "At the moment, guidance for safe use is not available from regulation, but only through training."

Mr O'Shea has three goals relative to training and safety. He wants all mast climbing equipment manufacturers to join IPAF (the International Powered Access Federation), and he wants 50% of the major manufacturers to be members by the end of 2008.

His second goal is adoption of an application standard for mast climbing equipment, and he thinks the British standard, BS7981, is a good model. Mr O'Shea thinks such a document could be written in 18 months and has begun adapting the British guideline for the North American market. The International Committee of IPAF is discussing adoption of such a standard, he says.

The third goal is to have the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) adopt such a guideline. Currently, OSHA is not even required to use the ANSI in its investigations, says Mr O'Shea.

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