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Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs)

What is an MCWP?

Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWPs) are a form of automated, mechanised access increasingly used in the construction industry as temporary working places giving variable height access to specific areas of structures above ground level.

Typical applications of MCWPs include: overcladding, fabric repair, window replacement, new-build housing, multi-trade sites, lift shaft installation, curtain walling, bricklaying, industrial cladding, refurbishment and cleaning/painting.

Benefits of Use

MCWPs allow efficient work on the façade of buildings where conventional methods may be uneconomical. They are in many cases more convenient to use than other forms of access equipment such as ladders, scaffolding, staging or suspended cradles.

In many countries, MCWPs have become the 'latest access revolution'. Savings over traditional scaffolding can reach 40% on fixed installation costs and 50% on contract duration. These can be achieved with 30% less operatives.

MCWP Training

MCWP training covers the categories Operator, Mobile Operator, Demonstrator, Installer and Advanced Installer, each leading to the award of a PAL Card (Powered Access Licence).

Operator - OP
Operators are persons who have been trained to operate the MCWP, with full knowledge of the controls of the equipment. They are able to carry out pre-use/daily inspections and perform the emergency descent.

Demonstrator - D
Demonstrators are persons with full knowledge on the operating commands of the equipment. They are able to perform the emergency descent, carry out pre-use/daily and weekly inspections, and ensure that these take place. In addition, demonstrators are in charge of performing familiarisation to users and trained operators.

Mobile Operator - OP(M)
Mobile Operators are persons who work from and operate a mobile MCWP, with full knowledge of the controls of  the equipment. They are able to carry out pre-use/daily and weekly inspection, able to perform the emergency descent, able to dismantle, move and reinstall (including stability tie) a Mobile MCWP in original configuration only.

Installer -  INST
Installers are in charge of the installation of a MCWP in all standard configurations indicated by the manufacturer. They are able to perform installation final appraisals and handover procedures. 

Advanced Installer - INST(A)
Advanced Installers are in charge of the installation of a MCWP in all configurations including special configurations and tailor-made projects. They are able to perform installation final appraisals, handover procedures and MCWP thorough examinations.

To find a training centre near you, use the Training Centre Locator, clicking on the category "Mast Climbing Work Platforms".

Reference Documents

Reference can be made to:

  • BS EN 1495:1998 Lifting platforms -- Mast climbing work platforms
  • BS 7981:2002 Code of practice for the installation, maintenance, thorough examination and safe use of mast climbing work platforms  

British standards can be purchased from the British Standards Institution using this link: http://shop.bsigroup.com 

Reference can also be made to the following technical guidance published by IPAF:

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