US gets safety guidelines for mast climbers

By Patrick Hill20 November 2008

Safe use guidelines for users of MCWPs (mast climbing work platforms) in the US have been prepared by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Kevin O'Shea of Mastclimbers LLC with input from a number of interested organisations.

The 28-page document provides guidelines and recommendations to ensure that MCWPs are installed, maintained, examined and used in a safe manner, and that training requirements are clearly established to control the quality of use, installation and planning. The document also includes checklists for daily and weekly inspections.

Mr O'Shea, chairman of IPAF's International MCWP Committee said, "The US is in the same position now that the UK was in during the 1970s. Legislation on design and safe use is falling further and further behind the uptake of the product in all market sectors. The British equivalent of these guidelines, BS7981, and the emergence of a strong design standard, transformed MCWP safety in the UK to the point where it is now considered as the safest method of powered access available.

"ANSI SIA 92.9 (the US design standard) is currently being redrafted and these Safe Use Guidelines will provide the final piece of the jigsaw and users, installers, manufacturers, rental companies and regulatory bodies will all benefit from this document."

The guidelines are based on the European document Health and Safety Guidance for Mast Climbing Work Platforms. It also includes input from ANSI A92.9, OSHA 1926 Sub part L "Scaffolds", Cal OSHA's specific MCWP guidance and IPAF's International MCWP Committee.

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