Mast climber risk control

15 April 2008

Controllable risk: stucco workers at 150 foot of height were standing and walking on this planking.

Controllable risk: stucco workers at 150 foot of height were standing and walking on this planking.

“More users [of mast climbing work platforms], more erections and dismantles, more inventive use of the equipment, and more rental companies” are increasing the need for risk control, according to Kevin O' Shea, training manager of Mastclimbers LLC, near Atlanta, GA.

O' Shea says the growing adoption of mast climbing work platforms by contractors has the potential for “…uncontrolled risk in our industry.” He says there are “too few experienced people, contractors who don't want to listen to safety advice, and too many buyers who don't understand…” the benefits of the equipment and let rates negatively affect decisions.

O' Shea cautioned that, “The more [margin] we [mast climber suppliers] give away, the more we compromise our ability to control risk factors.”

He urges rental companies to more actively control risk. He suggested that increased awareness, more and better training, effective risk assessment, and comprehensive legislation, will also lead to safer mast climbing work environments.” At the moment, we are relying on scaffolding guidelines,” he says. “US has design standards, but there is no ‘use’ standard [for mast climbers].”

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