How Safe is Your Safety Inspection ?
Just Ask a Rope Access Company…
When there’s a building safety inspection to perform in a difficult access place, it often involves surveying from the ground level. Why is that? Because getting to the hard to reach places are just that – hard. As a result, however, the building inspections are not very accurate; estimations are made but you don’t truly know if you can trust them.
Safety inspections need to be accurate. It doesn’t matter whether the hard to reach places are high or low, but they need to be accessed so that the inspection can be done correctly and the results can be trusted. The way to get access to hard to reach places is through rope access.
How Rope Access Works
Rope access will allow a technician to be anchored into place and he can then descend or ascend into areas that other methods simply won’t allow for; similar methods and equipment as used during climbing and caving are implemented. The technicians are safer than other options because they are attached to two separate ropes, each independently anchored. At least two technicians are in the same area so they are able to get to each other in the event that something happens. IRATA, the International Rope Access Trade Association, requires that each technician be completely trained and certified. The incidents that are recorded in rope access are lower than any other in the construction industry.
Why Rope Access is Right for your Building Safety Inspection
A building inspection report should cover all aspects of the building in question, regardless of what kind of shape it’s in. If there are areas on the inside or outside that need to be checked, the technicians can go in using ropes and see every inch of the structure in question.
There are no reasons to make assumptions, especially when safety is concerned. If there is an area that needs to be inspected, the only way to do it properly is to get to the area in person and test the structural integrity and actually see what problems are there. Rope access will ensure that all areas are seen so that there are no questions unanswered.
There are other options that can be used, but not to the same effect. Scaffolding and cherry pickers will get a person high up to see the problem, but these will often obstruct more than they assist. Scaffolding can also be time consuming and cherry pickers are not very effective in all areas, such as when the problems are lower (underground levels) and deep inside (concave building structures). There’s no way to truly get down into those places without using rope access.
Most importantly, when you are performing a safety inspection as a precursor to doing actual building repair work, the inspection needs to be accurate so that a maintenance company can properly quote you on the work needed. As budget is always a consideration to get the work done, accuracy counts.
Once a company is contracted to come in and fix the building problems or repair parts of the structure, they are basing it upon the inspection. If, as they get into the work, it is discovered that there are bigger problems than what they were initially hired for, work will come to a screeching halt. This will take up more time to complete the job.
Renegotiations will need to be made and the cost will inevitably go up. If a budget has already been approved for the work, however, this could mean compromising on the quality, which results in a poorer fix. If quality is to be maintained, the financial impact may delay the entire process indefinitely.
This can all be avoided by having a building safety inspection done accurately the first time. 100% access needs to happen in order for the results to be trusted and rope access is the only thing in the industry that will allow for it. This will ensure that the job will get done right the first time without any surprises half-way into the project.
Even When You’re Not Hiring Rope Access Specialists, You’ll Still Get Them
Rope access is a trusted, reliable way of getting to the hard to reach areas and everyone in the industry knows it. When scaffolding companies are unable to get to certain areas of a building they were hired for or cherry picker companies are in over their head, they will call a rope access company to come in.
You then pay for the middle man to give you exactly what you should have gone within the first place. Why pay for scaffolding when they’re only going to call a rope access company at the end anyway?
There’s a significant cost saving when the middle man is reduced and rope access is your first choice.
So although there are many ways to go about conducting a safety inspection, if there are hard to reach places, it’s important to hire the people who can get to all of those places without having equipment in the way of seeing the integrity of the structure.
The only ones in the industry who have the skill set to do that are rope access technicians, or ‘commercial abseilers’ to give them a title.
This will ensure that the accuracy of the safety inspection is maintained and you get the right job done safely.