The desire for increased productivity has prompted some masonry contractors to turn to mast-climbing work platforms as their scaffolding on many jobsites. Masonry contractors who use this type of scaffolding say it can increase mason and laborer productivity between 25% and 45%, depending on the model used. WHAT IS A WORK PLATFORM? Powered by electricity or hydraulics, they lift workers, equipment, and materials vertically up large, steel masts. A work platform generally consists of a wheeled trailer base unit, the platform, and one or two fixed steel masts on which the platform rides up and down. GREATER WORKER COMFORT Because the elevating mechanism of work platforms is precise, masons can adjust their work area to the exact level of comfort. This keeps the next course of masonry at waist height, adding to efficiency. SPEEDIER, EASIER MATERIAL HANDLING Mast-climbing work platforms allow workers quick access to materials and supplies. By using a work platform, the masonry contractor no longer has to compete with other subs for the general contractor's hoists. Workers can either lower the platform to the ground and load supplies when needed or use a second platform for that purpose. QUICK TO ERECT A mast-climbing work platform also takes less time to erect. Erecting other scaffolding systems can sometimes take more than a week and as many as four to five workers. Contractors who have used mast-climbing work platforms say it takes three workers and no more than 2 days to erect or move a platform. GREATER SAFETY Nearly all work platforms come equipped with guardrail enclosures, which reduce safety violations and fall hazards and lower insurance and worker's compensation fees.