When a major entertainment venue in Gauteng realised a suspended speaker in an open-air area had come loose, posing a safety risk to patrons, its first call was to Skyriders Access Specialists Pty Ltd. The rope access specialist put together a team at short notice and was able to secure the speaker quickly and without disruption.
Another recent issue the client had to deal with was ceiling boards that had come loose in the cinema area. While this was more of an aesthetic concern and did not pose a direct safety risk, Skyriders was able to rig a rope access system in the ceiling space to allow its team to secure the ceiling boards without incident.
“The options were limited to constructing scaffolding or having a cherry picker enter the building to allow for access, which is risky, costly and not ideal,” comments Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn. Increasingly, major entertainment venues are turning to rope access for repair, inspection, and maintenance issues in difficult to reach or confined spaces.
“While it is a relatively easy scope of work for us, commercial clients are confronted with access issues when it comes to essential maintenance,” notes Zinn. “Our experience is there are few architectural or design firms that take access into consideration post-construction, usually due to the additional cost. Hence the issue falls to the facilities managers and building owners at the end of the day.”
However, there is a high standard in terms of health and safety and meeting all the necessary laws and regulations. “It is commercial clients like these that insist on especially high standards, which means the ‘bakkie brigade’ is unable to comply, providing major opportunities for accredited professionals such as ourselves to showcase our technology and expertise,” says Zinn.
While entertainment venues often have their own maintenance team and specialised contractors, they sometimes encounter specific issues requiring work-at-height and confined-space experience, which is where Skyriders’ expertise is best put to use. Wind and weather play a major role in maintaining the exterior, with the rope access specialist called upon to assess parts of the roof where tiles have come loose, for example.