Project Overview: Testing the wall thickness of tubular steel legs

Aerial Contracting delivers specialist radio mast maintenance and painting services across the UK, Ireland and continental Europe. Its team of technicians are fully qualified in the field of rope access. However, hauling personnel and equipment up and down radio masts is extremely arduous work, made more challenging still by the high winds that swirl at heights hundreds of metres above ground.

Technicians will typically use a bosun’s chair to perform maintenance at height or refresh a mast’s paintwork, but certain points can remain awkward to reach and prolong the length of time required to complete a project. With an upcoming project in Oss, the Netherlands, Aerial Contracting required a safer and more efficient means of elevating technicians in order to carry out a full climb-down of a 70m tower, test the wall thickness of its tubular steel legs and inspect for any corrosion.

The Solution: A comprehensive upgrade on the bosun’s chair

Altitec is the leading distributor and service partner for the ActSafe Ascender, a self-powered ‘personal elevator’ that enables technicians to ascend or descend a rope safely and at speed. ActSafe systems have been deployed successfully in a variety of sectors, from aviation to renewable energy and construction, providing operations and maintenance teams with the fastest, most cost-effective and reliable means of reaching hard-to-access locations.

Altitec provided Aerial Contracting with an ACX Powered Ascender and two battery packs under its unique leasing service. The ACX model is compact, lightweight and features an optional remote control. Aerial Contracting’s team were able to use the device to quickly and easily gain access to all points of the radio mast and comprehensively examine its condition, while at all times ensuring the safety of technicians.

Outcomes & Benefits

The ActSafe Ascender enabled Aerial Contracting’s team to thoroughly inspect the radio mast much faster than a traditional bosun’s chair. As a result, the Ascender has helped Aerial Contracting increase the rate at which it can carry out inspections, whilst helping technicians avoid fatigue. In addition, and as its Managing Director highlights, the Ascender enables Aerial Contracting’s team on the ground to respond and perform tower rescues much more quickly, should they be required.


“If a technician gets into trouble while working up-tower, our team on the ground can attach an ActSafe Ascender to the rope and be up a 400m tower in ten minutes – far quicker than if they had to manually pull themselves up.

In addition to the safety benefits, what most attracted us to using the Ascender is its versatility and efficiency, which allows us to complete projects that would previously have taken a week in half that time.” – Neil Pazadian, Managing Director, Aerial Contracting.