Rope-access specialist Skyriders has helped keep the lights on at a 75 000 m2 warehouse in Midrand for a major retailer. The company was called on to provide a maintenance service for the lighting, replacing globes that had failed, and highlighting any faults to be attended to by a third-party electrician, Marketing Manager Mike Zinn explains.
The fast-track maintenance project became critical as it was affecting operations in the vast warehouse. Skyriders deployed rope access and basic fall-arrest principles to reach roof height, and then to move along to the various lights requiring attention.
Here the faulty light would be disconnected and lowered safely to the ground for the attention of the electrician. Once any necessary repairs had been effected, the 10 kg light would be hoisted back up and plugged in again.
Commenting on the application of rope access in a warehouse environment, Zinn points out that it all depends on the set-up and roof height. Traditional warehouses can be accessed easily by means of scissor lifts or even cherry pickers, but a major warehouse like the Midrand facility posed a particular challenge.
The fact that it was a fully working warehouse meant that Skyriders had to structure its rope access in terms of specific areas and times so as to facilitate operations. Another challenge was the presence of conveyor systems on the ground, which meant that scaffolding was not ideal to provide access to the lighting.
“Given the constraints of the site itself, and the fact that essential lighting maintenance was required while the warehouse was ‘live’, meant that rope access was the safest and quickest solution for this particular project scope. Our highly-experienced four-person team was able to carry out the work as cost-effectively as possible,” Zinn concludes.