The Midrand-based training academy established by rope access specialist Skyriders in 2010 will soon offer external training, Marketing Manager Mike Zinn reports. The training is fully accredited by the professional body known as the Institute for Work at Height (IWH).
Working at height continues to pose a major hazard in the construction industry. Research conducted by Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth indicates that the indirect costs of falling-from-height (FFH) accidents are 14.2 times the direct costs. Falls from buildings are the most hazardous when working at height due to factors such as wind velocity, structure height, risky activities, and workers’ attitudes.
The training offered by the Heightwise Academy is moderated by the IWH, which issues the final certificate, licence to operate and logbook for all those who complete the training successfully. Complete fall-arrest training is provided, from basic to advanced levels, as well as search-and-rescue. Rope-access courses offered extend from the basic Level 1 to the expert Level 3.
Working-at-height is a common safety risk from residential to heavy industrial sites. In order to mitigate the danger of FFH incidents, it is imperative that all those who work at height receive the proper training. A well-trained rope access technician can not only complete the work at hand quickly and efficiently, but is also able to proactively mitigate any risks involved.
“We have a responsibility as a rope-access specialist to ensure that standards are maintained throughout the industry. Establishing our own training academy has not only allowed us to ensure the competence and expertise of our own technicians, but it also plays a vital role in ensuring that these standards are upheld for the benefit of all,” Zinn concludes.