What do a leisure complex, a 50-storey skyscraper, a shopping centre and a major food-processing plant have in common? These are all unusual projects where leading rope access specialist Skyriders Access Specialists was called upon to carry out a range of inspection, repair and maintenance services.
“This is a major growth area for us, especially as ordinary maintenance schedules still have to be adhered for maximum productivity and efficiency, despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” comments marketing manager Mike Zinn.
Skyriders is able to field small, flexible and dynamic teams that can offer a range of services while being fully compliant with all Covid-19 regulations. “Building a massive scaffold structure takes considerable labour, while rope access only requires a small team. The same applies to our drone department, where a two-person team can visually inspect an entire furnace area of a boiler without the need for scaffolding,” notes Zinn.
While the Montecasino leisure complex has its own maintenance team and specialised contractors, it sometimes encounters specific issues that require work-at-height and confined-space experience, which is where Skyriders’ expertise is best put to use.
Recent work it undertook at Montecasino was to replace an anchor system on a bell tower used to suspend advertising banners. Due to wear-and-tear, some of the anchors had started to come loose and the whole system therefore had to be inspected for safety reasons and to mitigate any risk. Rope access meant that this could be done simply without the need for any extensive scaffolding.
A particularly tall feather in Skyriders’ cap was its work at the Carlton Centre in downtown Johannesburg on behalf of a third party tasked to carry out load testing on four winches in the food court area. However, the inaccessibility of the winches posed a major challenge, and subsequently the company partnered with Skyriders to provide its rope-access expertise.
Often called upon to conduct maintenance, repair and inspection services at large-scale industrial structures such as smokestacks and petro-chemical tanks, Skyriders has even carried out general routine cleaning in inaccessible areas at a major food-processing plant. A six-person team oversaw the fast-track project over a two-day period, deploying high-pressure washers using food-safe detergent in order to adhere to the strict hygiene, health and safety standards of the food and beverage industry.
Skyriders offers a variety of rope-access aided services to numerous industries such as power generation, petro-chemical, mining, heavy industry and facilities management. These services include 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, to name but a few.