Having recently completed a large facility management project for diamond processing organisation the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in Gaborone, Botswana, industrial rope-access specialist Skyriders has found a faster, more efficient way of conducting maintenance on site through rope access.
The project, which was completed this month for DTC at its head offices, involved sorting out defective lights, load testing, and maintenance and cleaning, says Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn.
Having done numerous projects for companies in the diamond mining industry, the company found that, with mines operating 24/7, there is a small window of opportunity available to do maintenance.
Zinn explains that the company has also done work for coal majors Anglo Coal and Exxaro, where Skyriders was required to do inspections, maintenance and repairs on the silos of both companies.
“The majority of the mines we have worked on, often have very short duration shutdowns, where a huge amount of inspections, repairs and maintenance needs to be achieved during that time.”
Zinn adds that, if a company is using a good portion of time building, the more traditional means of access like scaffolding, it will place unnecessary pressure on the time available for the actual scope of work.
“With our rope access, it means the minute you get the permit cleared at the mine, our team can bring their ropes and be operational within an hour, doing inspections and maintenance.” As soon as the scope of work is completed, the team climbs out, pulls out the ropes and signs off the permit, after which the mine can start up again, he adds.
Zinn explains that the traditional way of conducting maintenance includes scaffolding and cranes, with a man basket, which can take an extended period to set up, while rope access can be set up in an hour.
He notes that mining companies are starting to see the advantages of using rope access, owing to the strict procedures and safety precautions that are done by Skyriders on site. In addition, the scope of work can be completed in a shorter time, which allows for significant cost savings.
Skyriders aims to do more work in the mining and diamond mining sectors using rope access through a trained group of individuals who will provide the necessary services on site.