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Like any major city, the centre of Liverpool contains many narrow streets with relatively high sided and ageing buildings. Delivering maintenance at height in these areas can give facilities managers a real headache because using a MEWP means getting a temporary road closure and in Liverpool road closures take at least six months to arrange. SAS Ltd delivers a full range of rope access building maintenance services which allows facilities managers to avoid road closures in city centres, like Liverpool.

Using IRATA industrial rope access systems SAS personnel are able to deliver high access building maintenance services quietly and efficiently without disruption to operations in the building or to the public below.

Although SAS Ltd deliver cost effective building access solutions throughout the UK, the majority of our work is in the North West of England. Delivering Rope Access in Manchester and Liverpool keeps us very busy across a variety of different trades.

A recent project for Space Scape Ltd was fairly typical of our high access projects in Manchester. Space Scape Ltd had a contract to deliver complete building renovations to the Northern Assurance and Victoria Buildings on Albert Square in Manchester. These buildings were built around 1900 and had suffered serious deterioration over time, particularly in parts of the building that were difficult to access. The buildings have central light wells running the full height of the eight story building requiring a range of works including painting, pointing, timber repair, stone repair and glazing repair. At the bottom of the light wells were glass roofs making access a nightmare – a perfect job for the rope access specialists SAS LTD.

SAS spent the best part of six weeks completing the high access building solutions project on the Northern Assurance and Victoria Buildings. We delivered the works on time and in budget for the buildings’ new owners and occupiers to move in as planned. Another successful rope access building project for SAS LTD.

Sea Ports often rely on cranes and conveyor belt systems to unload the ships as they dock. Cargill are one of the largest companies operating at Seaforth Docks in Liverpool and they have thousands of metres of conveyor belt systems moving thousands of tonnes of grain around the dock every week. This is prime territory for Rope Access Conveyor Belt Maintenance.

Through the summer the port needed to carry out maintenance on the grain conveyor systems and part of this work scope was to replace conveyor rollers that had become worn or even broken. The rollers are difficult to access because they sit underneath a heavy rubber conveyor belt high up on a steel gantry which runs for hundreds of metres around the dock. The fact that you are replacing rollers spaced out along the whole conveyor systems means that scaffold would be an incredibly cumbersome and expensive way to access the work. MEWPS would be impractical because the conveyors run over all sorts of docks and plant leaving rope access as the obvious answer.

A team of three rope access technicians where able to swap rollers out with great efficiency. Moving around the steelwork using rope access aid climbing techniques the team swapped out all of the old and worn out rollers with only minor disruption to port operations whilst the conveyor was isolated for the works.

This was an excellent example of how a competent team of rope access technicians can solve industrial access problems that have had site managers scratching their heads for years. Site managers at Seaforth Docks were delighted that SAS LTD could deliver such a neat solution for a difficult access work scope that had been causing them real problems.

Although scheduled abseil window cleaning of tall buildings is an important part of what we do we are also often contracted by main construction companies to deliver what is known in the industry as a Building Clean Down. This is where we use industrial rope access systems to access and clean the outside of a newly constructed building prior to it being handed over to the client.

SAS Ltd plays a significant role in keeping Liverpool's historic waterfront sparkling clean. In the photograph one of our operatives is preparing to start on a 12 floor abseil clean of the glazing, window frames and cladding to remove concrete splatters and other dirt from the construction process.

In this case the main contractor was Balfour Beatty and the building is part of the Baltic Triangle development overlooking Liverpool’s Albert Dock.

SAS Ltd is frequently called upon to deliver rope access concrete repairs. Using IRATA systems for access and work positioning we can usually deliver concrete repairs far more cost effectively than contractors using scaffolding or MEWPs for access.

Through June and July SAS Ltd has been working on a large new development in the centre of London to repair defects in the newly built concrete balconies. Using a proprietary concrete repair system, we worked with the Client to ensure a good colour match after which it was a relatively straightforward job to access all balconies using rope access systems to deliver the repairs.

By the end of the work scope SAS Ltd had solved a major headache for one of our clients and without blowing their budget. Another happy client for SAS LTD industrial rope access services building maintenance division.

Commercial window cleaning on Liverpool’s high rise buildings can be problematic. Rising up to 135m above ground level means that it is extremely expensive to use scaffolding and beyond the reach of cherry pickers. Liverpool’s World Heritage Waterfront building managers work very hard to keep their properties gleaming but unfortunately, in a busy city, keeping office and apartment windows clean is an ongoing task. SAS LTD’s abseil window cleaners are the obvious solution.

Quick to deploy and with minimum disruption to traffic and pedestrians abseil window cleaning is a cost effective, versatile and, above all, safe solution for cleaning windows at height. SAS LTD’s abseil window cleaning teams are always busy around Liverpool keeping the city’s high rise buildings sparkle clean.

These days SAS Ltd delivers a lot of Rope Access in Liverpool to the construction industry but Rope Access Systems first started being used for work positioning at height in the offshore oil and gas sector in the late 80’s early 90’s. The techniques and equipment used back then had been developed over the previous fifty years in sports rock climbing and caving; they were sold into the offshore oil and gas sector as a means to achieve huge cost benefits by reducing the reliance on traditional access solutions, particularly scaffolding which was extremely costly to move and store on offshore oil platforms as well as taking a long time to build and strike.

In order for rope access systems to be taken up by the offshore sector it first had to be proven that they represented a safe way to work. At first glance men working on ropes seems like a dangerous concept to many people but the reality is counter intuitive; as borne out by data gathered by IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) over the ensuing 25 years rope access is a far safer way for IRATA trained personnel to work at height than the use of scaffolding. After all, these systems began life as a means for climbers and cavers to make themselves safe in the mountains and caves of the world; with much heavier equipment, doubled up to allow for the fabled 100% redundancy that is a key component of the rope access operatives safe system of working, and attached to structural steel or rated anchor systems, a properly trained rope access operative works within massive margins of safety.

Throughout the 90’s and 00’s the use of industrial rope access systems became ubiquitous across the offshore sector and then the onshore industrial sector. SAS Ltd’s rope access services are widely used in the fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable sectors as well as in manufacturing plants across the UK. However, the UK onshore construction sector remained behind the curve in terms of their uptake of industrial rope access services. In recent years this situation has begun to change with even the largest construction companies opening up to the enormous cost benefits that can be achieved with the selective deployment of specialist rope access sub contractors. The construction industry has finally begun to accept the compelling health and safety case in favour of rope access as a safe means of delivering work at height and SAS Ltd continues to develop strong client relationships in this sector in Liverpool and beyond.

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