Mast Climbing Work Platform Guidelines Released

Staff | September 28, 2010

Prepared by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Kevin O’Shea of Mastclimbers LLC for use in the United States of America only, the 28-page document provides guidance and recommendations to insure that mast climbing work platforms (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 typical checklists for daily and weekly inspections.

Realizing that MCWPs are being increasingly used as temporary work places that give variable height access to areas above ground level, the guidelines were prepared following numerous requests from industry bodies, platform users and manufacturers for a comprehensive document that would help them increase safety in the workplace. The guidelines are based on the European document Health and Safety Guidance for Mast Climbing Work Platforms, Guideline BS7981 and BS EN 1495, Lifting Platforms – Mast Climbing Work Platforms. It also includes input from ANSI A92.9, OSHA 1926 Subpart L "Scaffolds", Cal OSHA’s specific MCWP guidance, and IPAF’s International MCWP Committee.

Kevin O’Shea, Chairman of IPAF’s International Mast Climbing Work Platform (MCWP) Committee explained the importance of the guidelines, ‘The U.S. is in the same position now that the UK was in with legislation on design and safe use 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 U.S. design standard) is currently being re-drafted and these Safe Use Regulations will provide the final piece of the jigsaw, and users, installers, manufacturers, rental companies and regulatory bodies will all benefit from this document.’

Copies of the "IPAF Guidelines for the Safe Use of Mast Climbing Work Platforms: U.S. Edition 2008" are available free of charge and can be downloaded online at or