Which are the most effective high-rise maintenance procedures?
I always remember wondering how on earth people managed to keep the windows so clean on these gargantuan high rise buildings that you see in the major cities such as New York and London. Having an irrational fear of heights myself I think that it was always something that I refused to acknowledge until one day I was watching a movie that involved a rope access platform hanging off the side of a building, one that eventually fell down and crashed on the concrete below.
Fortunately I learned that while there are always risks, for the most part the workers on these platforms are very safe, provided they follow a strict set of procedures and the equipment that they use is regularly and thoroughly maintained.
Rope access and abseil maintenance are two of the most frequently used procedures when working on a high rise building. Whether it is the repairing and maintenance of a building or the cleaning of the windows, health and safety is always of the utmost importance. It is imperative that the workers who are in charge of carrying out these tasks have been thoroughly trained in carrying out these procedures as safely as possible.
In certain parts of the world however, the requirements and expected level of health and safety are not always as up to par as you’d expect. I remember when I was living in Bangkok for a while; I was working in a high-rise building on the 40th floor. I was typing away at my desk, minding my own business when all of a sudden a couple of ropes were dangled down past my window and shortly after a gentleman sat on a plank of wood was slowly edging his way down, cleaning as he went. This was an incredibly frightening experience for me as he had very little in the way of safety gear on. One wrong move and this man would have been plummeting to his death and there would have been nothing that I could have done about it.
Health and Safety is paramount when carrying out high rise maintenance.
This is why it is paramount that you ensure that you are carrying out the safest procedures. Many companies do not consider rope-access for high rise maintenance and prefer to use scaffolding or cherry pickers. These are some of the more commonly used methods however for some of the tallest buildings in the world; they aren’t really a viable option at all. In general this is the slowest method and can be ineffective at times as certain parts of the building that need cleaning can be missed due to the platform blocking the way.
Ultimately it all boils down to the size of the building in question and the nature of the work that needs to be carried out. Weigh up the pros and cons of the various methods and roll with the most viable procedure for your high rise building maintenance.