February 24, 2021
February 24, 2021
An Overview of Rope Access Works in Singapore
Hydroseal past projects are a standing proof of our quality standards. Specialists in various waterproofing services
You have likely seen rope access technicians at work in Singapore. They are often spotted dangling off the sides of tall buildings and even skyscrapers performing crucial repair & maintenance works. Passersby tend to stop and stare in curiosity, wondering what sort of work the technicians are performing. It is not often one sees people casually hanging out on the side of a building in Singapore. In actuality, these technicians are hard at work, performing jobs such as waterproofing, painting, signage repair and cleaning. Though it may look precarious, this is a safe, effective & common method of performing building facade works in Singapore.
Technicians performing the works are highly skilled and competent. They have to go through rigorous training in order to become certified to carry out projects that help maintain the safety and aesthetics of buildings in Singapore.
It is in the name itself! Rope access is a method of using ropes, climbing equipment and techniques to access parts of a building to carry out specific tasks safely and efficiently. Often, other methods such as scaffolding or boom lifts may not allow the technician to access problem areas easily or safely. For example, some buildings may be too tall or contain external obstacles that would block access using more conventional methods. In those cases, rope access is the ideal method to perform the job.
It can be used by service providers from a wide range of industries in Singapore such as waterproofing, painting, signage installation and cleaning companies.
At face value, rope access looks dangerous and precarious. Dangling from the side of a building while being exposed to the elements hardly seems like the most ideal way to execute external facade works. However, it is has been proven to be an extremely safe method. As mentioned, technicians have to go through rigorous training in order to obtain certification. Additionally, there are strict safety protocols in place for every rope access job done. For instance, a level 3 Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) technician (the highest certification obtainable) has to sign off and supervise the project. A level 3 technician has to have at least 1000 hours under their belt as a level 2 technician as well as possess a year of experience before being allowed to take the level 3 course.
Other safety measures for every job includes having at least 2 independent ropes attached to each technician, one acting as the working line and the other as a safety line. All equipment used during the access works is securely attached to the technician to ensure no tools or equipment fall below, potentially hurting passersby or damaging the property.
There are numerous advantages that come with using rope access this method for external facade works.
1. Speed & Efficiency
Compared to other methods of working at heights, rope access only takes minutes to hours to set up and dismantle. Other methods such as scaffolding or lifts can take a considerable amount of time both at the beginning and at the end of the project.
2. Reduction in inconvenience
The process begins with technicians gearing up, performing safety checks and preparing for deployment at the top of the building. The problem areas are accessed from the top of the building instead of traditional methods that require blocking off of large areas of the property below. This greatly reduces the amount of inconvenience to residents, tenants and passersby.
As mentioned above, rope access is undoubtedly safe and is second-nature to technicians. There are zero compromises on safety when choosing this method over other available means.
4. Accessibility, Flexibility & Adaptability
One key advantage is its ability to adapt to each building’s unique facade. Certain buildings have confined and awkward spaces that a rope access technician can easily reach. Furthermore, this method can be applied to many industries beyond building maintenance. It is often used in oil rigs, rescue operations and electrical work amongst others.
Cost is a huge reason why many people choose rope access over other methods. There are considerable time savings due to the reduction in setting up and disassembly. The job can be performed quickly, saving on project time and ultimately, cost. Some projects can see cost savings of up to 50%.
Typically, it is used when the work required is located at a considerable height. The surrounding environment is also taken into consideration, for example, a facade that requires repair works may only be a couple of stories tall but has buildings or fixtures nearby that prevent scaffoldings or lifts from being deployed. The service provider will perform an initial assessment to understand the feasibility, risks and requirements of the job.
Hydro-Seal engineering has performed numerous rope access works for buildings across Singapore such as Suntec City, SingPost Centre and private condominiums. The company has earned the trust of our clients since 1995 and has excelled in our ability to execute all forms of rope access & waterproofing operations.
We believe in our work and provide professional advice. We have an experienced team of applicators and waterproofing specialists that are well-skilled in waterproofing & PU grouting.