Skyriders offers working-at-height safety solution for Sappi
Rope-access specialist, Skyriders, has provided a working-at-height safety solution for a contractor undertaking maintenance at the Sappi’s Ngodwana pulp-and-paper mill in Mpumalanga.
This follows an earlier successful project in 2016 in which Skyriders undertook inspection and repair work on the ducting between the boilers and the smoke stacks, as well as platform installations inside a smoke stack at the mill. This is a fully integrated mill producing pulp for newsprint and containerboard, as well as for in-house use, with a capacity of 210 000 t a year.
Mike Zinn, marketing manager at Skyriders, explains that the rope-access specialist was called upon to assist a contractor undertaking maintenance on a tower-crane platform.
“Due to the height of the platform, a working-at-height safety solution was necessary,” he says.
A senior level-3 rope access supervisor and technical manager were dispatched to site to come up with the optimal solution.
“We had a bracket system designed and then fabricated that was strapped to the vertical column of the tower crane that the team could hook into. Thus they could undertake all the necessary maintenance while attached to this temporary lifeline system, which was essentially just bolted onto the tower crane,” explains Zinn.
In addition, Skyriders briefed the team on basic working-at-height safety requirements, and how best to use the customised system it had devised for Sappi. The fast-track two-day project was completed in January.
Zinn says that the rope access has allowed Sappi to achieve significant cost-savings in terms of its maintenance and repair requirements.
“Scaffolding, on the other hand, is costly and time-consuming, and disproportionately expensive compared to the scope of work,” he concludes.