News for Tool Hire, Equipment Hire & Plant Hire and Rental Professionals

HSE mast climber safety alert

6 May 2022

HSE mast climber safety alert

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a safety alert advising of a serious technical fault that could occur with mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs).

The alert requires those involved in MCWP activities to check that equipment complies with Regulation 4 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, specifically, to ensure that undetected mechanical failure in drive units cannot lead to the uncontrolled fall of the platform.

It includes advice on detection and prevention of potential failure where MCWPs rely on two drive units per mast as the means to ensure safety.

HSE states that employers, users and suppliers/installers should take the actions required in the alert, which can be seen here

HSE has discovered that some MCWPs, which rely on two independent motor drive units per mast as the means to prevent the platform falling with overspeed, are not fitted with suitable and sufficient controls to manage this risk.

This means work platforms could fall from height where mechanical faults in drive units go undetected. If not rectified quickly, the fault could cause serious injury, or even death, the organisation states.

The alert says that failures in drive units can be such that neither the centrifugal brakes (intended to limit the speed of descent) nor the automatic brakes (intended to engage when powered travel is stopped) within the drive units are able to have an effect.

Malfunctions in drive units which endangers proper function are foreseeable and unless a means of detection of such malfunctions is provided there is a risk of platforms falling with overspeed, it continues.

Construction professionals are advised immediately to check that the necessary drive unit control measures are in place for all MCWPs in use or available for use on sites, or to withdraw them from use until this can be verified.



I am constantly adding new content. If you subscribe FREE using the form below, I'll send you my weekly bulletin summarising the latest hire industry stories - and I'll also send you a PDF of 10 fascinating interviews with national and independent hirers, giving their views about business and their secrets of success!