When it comes to working at heights, particularly in hard to reach areas, abseiling, also known as rope access, is one of the safest and most efficient methods for window cleaning and building maintenance. Abseilers are supported by industrial static rope, from which they are suspended by a harness. This allows them to descend, ascend and traverse ropes to access the correct position, and work while suspended by their harness. As well as its versatility in reaching difficult to access areas, the work can be carried out cost effectively, as the man hours required are reduced compared to traditional access methods and there is no requirement to hire or transport costly equipment, such as elevated work platforms or scaffold. If there is a change in the schedule, due to the weather or changing work priorities, rope access cleaning or maintenance can simply be rescheduled, with none of the logistical or financial issues associated with equipment hire.
Abseil systems are established and dismantled very quickly compared to traditional access methods. This results in less interference with other facilities operations meaning less disruptions, minimised downtime, and a safer work environment for everyone. It is also unobtrusive, with no equipment occupying pavements or road sides and environmentally friendly, as there is minimal footprint on the surrounding environment compared to traditional methods and there is no requirement for fuel or electricity to access even the highest or tightest areas.
The primary objective when using abseiling is to carry out the work efficiently, with minimal accidents, incidents or dangerous occurrences. In order to ensure a safe system of work is maintained at all times, whilst avoiding damage to property or harm to the environment, careful planning and documented risk assessments are undertaken for each operation. IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) International has a continuously evolving regime of work procedures that members are required to follow, and which are monitored for compliance to ensure that a safe system of work is established and maintained. Abseiling can be undertaken on all type of buildings including areas which don’t have designated abseil anchorage points. This is achieved through mobile weight systems known as Dead Weight Trolleys.
Abseiling can be used in a wide range of environments, and is particularly suited to difficult to access atria, confined spaces and complicated structures. Powered access platforms provide safety at height, but their size and restrictive mobility mean that they are often not the best solution in these types of area. At Walkers, our technicians have a close attention to detail, which means they will report back on any issues they notice, allowing appropriate action to be taken, even if they are not related to their current task.
In addition to window and building cleaning, abseiling offers benefits for many associated services, such as building maintenance and repair, including cladding maintenance, window repair, glass replacement and roof maintenance. Building surveys can also be carried out and may include thermal imaging to identify water leaks or air leaks in windows. Abseiling is also extensively used to install pest prevention measures, such as netting, and for rigging for events, the siting of banners and signage.
To find out more about how Walkers’ abseiling technicians can help with the cleaning and maintenance of your commercial building or residential block please call us today on 0330 380 4433.