Company minimising height-access difficulties

28th September 2018 By: Thabi Madiba - Creamer Media Senior Research Assistant and Reporter

Rope access specialist RopeCrew Industrial Abseiling has positioned itself as a viable alternative for those wanting to opt to use rope access as a viable method of accessing areas at height, instead of scaffolding, which is limited and costly.

RopeCrew MD Gerrie du Plessis states that rope access is a much more efficient and a less intrusive way of accessing a building, as the work can be done by fewer people. He adds that productivity is also higher when using rope access because it is quicker than having to erect scaffolding.

Rope access entails using a double rope system to which the technician is connected with a harness. The first rope is used for positioning and the second rope to arrest a fall if the positioning ropes cause a technician to fall.

Specialising in high-access maintenance and installation projects using specialised industrial abseiling techniques, RopeCrew technicians can perform vertical, horizontal, diagonal and more complex manoeuvres. This also allows for their moving around obstacles to get into appropriate positions.

With eight years’ experience in the industry, the company decided to expand its service offering by providing training for skilled people, such as builders and plumbers without rope access expertise, because it is easier to teach rope access to someone that already has plastering or building skills than to teach a plastering or building skill to someone that has experience in rope access, Du Plessis states.

Meanwhile, Du Plessis notes that the company has completed a couple of projects internationally in the oil and gas, mining and construction sectors as it is difficult to secure projects in the local construction sector as the industry is a “bit quiet”.

The main challenge for the working-at-height industry is that there are a lot of people who want to do once-off or fly-by-night jobs, which result in their not complying with construction regulations, he adds.

“Clients complain that such people have messed up, and they want us to fix it, which costs more than to do it right the first time,” Du Plessis concludes.