Building maintenance and industrial rope access systems

On high-rise buildings and industrial facilities, industrial rope access systems allow technicians to access the inaccessible, safely and quickly – to conduct work that may include inspections, maintenance, service and repair. Rope access is a work positioning method developed from rock climbing and caving techniques recognised for its exceptional safety record. Industrial rope access utilises a twin-rope system, a main working rope that supports the worker and a secondary safety rope that provides back-up fall protection, enabling access to otherwise ‘impossible’ locations. Critical for any rope access work, however, apart from the harness and ropes, is the anchorage system allowing safe passage and access to the structure.

Industrial Rope Access Systems Case Study: Port Jackson Towers

The challenges

The real-world concerns confronted by strata committees managing their building mandatory capital works programmes in a compliant, safe and efficient manner can be challenging. Contractors engaged by Port Jackson Towers in Milsons Point to install an access rail system enabling safe facade access to complete immediate and future ongoing maintenance tasks required a solution that ensured the protection of their rope access technicians. However, the building did not have a pre-installed anchorage system allowing secure passage and access to the structure to work safely and in a way that protected the architectural facade.

The solution

The principal contractor engaged to install the rail system required a mobile, cost-effective solution that allowed safe access and work methods where conventional height safety devices were inadequate. Hi-Rise, a specialist consulting and engineering company, was brought in to assess and consult on a suitable suspended access solution for the operators working at height to enable the installation.

After consultation and assessment, a non-invasive portable access system, the RoofJockey™, was deemed as the optimal solution that allowed rope access technicians to:

  • Keep ropes off the glass balustrades;
  • Position themselves to install the systems with minimal disruption to residents;
  • Ensure the protection of all surrounding surfaces.

The outcome

As a recognised leader in its field as the premium provider of customised high quality engineered solutions for the height safety industry, for over 30 years, Hi-Rise delivered a portable and temporary safe access solutions that overcame the hurdles and enabled the complex rail installation to the building facade through the use of their proprietary artificial high direction apparatus, the RoofJockey™.

The RoofJockey™ served as a fall protection anchorage point and a davit system that elevated the technicians abseil rope to prevent contact with the property, ensuring facades and balconies accessed to carry out the installation did not suffer any damage during descents, ascents and work activities. The RoofJockey™ is a counterweight unit that does not require any pre-existing anchorages and is easily manoeuvred around the structure where and when needed, then completely removed after use due to its ability to be dismantled into small compact components.

The RoofJockey™ provided the ideal solution on this project as it overcame the challenges where:

  • The balustrades where unable to support the rope loads;
  • Anchor points or davit systems where unsuitable;
  • The balconies accessed during installation did not have suitable attachment points;
  • The height safety system needed to be portable, temporary and service a large area.

Hi-Rise engineered height safety solutions

Drawing on many years of industry experience and significant expertise in engineering and fabrication, Hi-Rise specialises in the design, fabrication and installation of innovative, customised height safety, fall protection and suspended access solutions that provide safe access for operators working at height. A recognised leader in its field, Hi-Rise has designed bespoke solutions for many landmark commercial projects.

By consulting with the client, Hi-Rise design engineers advise and supply specialised systems and equipment for fall protection and restraint, at all times maintaining adherence to Australian Standards and Codes of Practice to ensure a safe, compliant solution.

When designing the appropriate solution, considerations include:

  • The type, location and frequency of access required for ongoing inspections and maintenance;
  • The number of people who will be performing maintenance work;
  • Risk assessments;
  • Hazard identification;
  • Compliance with relevant Codes, Standards and industry regulations.

From a simple handrail through to complex design and height safety risk management services, Hi-Rise has a solution to suit every need. Learn more about our services, or contact us today to discover more about the Hi-Rise difference and what we can do for you.