At Height Access Options

Work At Height Access Options

When it comes to the selection of a safe and cost effective means of accessing work sites at height, all options need to be considered as to the work scope requirements. Each project has a variety of specific considerations and needs: safety, cost, productivity, personnel (quantity, skills, trades, qualifications and certifications), equipment, tools, materials, access / egress, and intrusiveness to other plant operations, etc.

All at height work site access options have their inherent advantages and disadvantages relative to each project. The following pages contain general considerations to assist in selecting the best access option to complete your at height work tasks / projects.




Loop of images showing different types of scaffolding for at height accessAdvantages

  • Stable Temporary Work Platform
  • Accommodates Large Work Force
  • Facilitates Easy Access for Plant Supervision


  • Increased Safety Risk Profile
  • Exposure
  • Increased Labor
  • Increased Material Handling
  • Possible Failure
  • Skilled, Certified Scaffolding
  • Training / Qualifications
  • Possible Misuse / Alterations
  • Multiple Trades Users
  • Weather Exposure Deterioration of Scaffolding Structure
  • Increased Personnel and Labor Costs
  • Intrusive to Access and Egress of Live Plant Operations
  • Rental Cost Over Runs

Man Lifts

Loop of images showing man lifts for at height jobsAdvantages

  • Highly Maneuverable Work Platform
  • Relatively Low Cost


  • Limited Personnel (1 Operator and 1 Worker)
  • Limited Maneuverability in Confining Areas
  • Limited Angle, Extension and Weight
  • Safety Concerns (Possible Tilting)

Image loop of workers performing at height tasks in crane baskets.

Crane Basket


  • Maneuverable Work Platform


  • Limited Personnel (1 to 2 Workers)
  • Limited Maneuverability in Confining Areas
  • Limited Vertical Positioning Only (no extension)
  • Safety Concerns (Load – Footing Issues)
  • Safety Concerns (Possible Miscommunications – Crane Operator to Worker)


Rope Access

Loop of images showing MHT rope access technicians performing at height jobs

  • Rapid Deployment in a Broad Range of Areas
  • Minimal Disruption to Facility Operations
  • Less Exposure to Risks / Increased Safety
    • Multi-Disciplined Personnel
    • Reduced Man Hours
  • Reduced Scaffolding Costs
  • Install engineered anchor points


  • More Suited for Specific Work Scopes
  • Limited by Available Anchor Points