July 27, 2017

The rise of rope access popularity in South Africa

Due to its ability to reduce maintenance downtime and complete work quicker in the safest possible manner, rope access is becoming an increasingly-popular choice for industrial rescue, maintenance and cleaning tasks across South Africa.

Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn explains that more industries are discovering the benefits of rope access and are moving away from conventional means. “Maintenance budgets are under considerable strain and, faced with the dilemma of limited funds for carrying out maintenance work and ensuring that the plant or facility can still operate effectively, companies are moving towards rope access, as it saves on the access component, with a safe and professional end result.”

Rope access is one of the most cost-effective and safe ways to access difficult-to-reach points in a number of applications, especially when the cost of access is disproportionate to the scope of work. It is ideal on tall structures, such as smoke stacks, cooling towers and boilers. The scope of rope access work includes maintenance such as cleaning, repair, painting and inspections.
“Rope access provides flexibility, as rope access technicians are able to traverse obstacles in order to carry out numerous tasks relating to inspection, maintenance and surveying, all while they are suspended in their secure position. Rope access is also highly-effective for numerous rescue tasks in any application over 2 m above ground,” Zinn continues.

According to Zinn, South Africa is at the forefront of international rope access trends. “In some cases, we are ahead of developed countries such as Australia, which hardly uses rope access in its power generation industry, whereas it is fairly mainstream in South Africa. The adaptation of the ISO standards for rope access is another indication that we are keeping up with international trends.”

Skyriders boasts extensive experience in all rope access applications, and undertakes work in the power generation, mining, facilities management and heavy industries. It offers services such as non-destructive testing (NDT) and inspection, concrete inspection, maintenance and repairs, application of coating systems, work at height safety systems, welding, and confined space rescue and standby.

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