With more high-rise buildings being developed, cleaning and maintenance of the facades is becoming ever more challenging. Add to this the increasing number of unusual shaped designs, such as the Gherkin and Walkie-Talkie in London and you begin to get a feel for the challenge this creates for the facilities teams.
As aesthetically pleasing as these buildings may be, when external access is required to carry out cleaning and maintenance works, it still needs to be done safely. One of the safest and most efficient ways of doing this on these kinds of designs is a Building Maintenance Unit. Failure to use this kind of safe access equipment can result in serious consequences.
For instance, in December 2016, a roofing company and two of its Directors were sentenced after working unsafely at height. Although a scaffolder was on site and available to build any scaffolding required, the company and its Directors chose to rush the job without scaffolding in order to submit their invoices earlier. Luckily, no one was hurt but this is a prime example of workers taking unnecessary and unsafe risks.
Through the use of specialist Building Maintenance Units (BMUs), incorporating Cradles and Gantries, the restrictions and dangers of working on difficult to access buildings can be eliminated.
These specialist units are the safest and most cost-effective method of accessing large, high rise buildings and structures. They are regularly used for general building fabric works, cladding, painting, window cleaning and building fabric surveys and inspections. They provide horizontal and vertical movement along the working platform. The use of building maintenance units (BMUs) also eliminates the need for storage of access equipment, providing a much faster set up time.
Like all height safety equipment, for BMU’s to be safely used and be in a condition to provide the worker with adequate protection, they must be regularly inspected and maintained in line with the relevant legislation. According to BS 6037 and LOLER 1998 (Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations), all BMU’s must:
- Be inspected and tested at three monthly intervals;
- Undergo annual load tests and;
- Have extensive inspection and thorough examinations at six monthly intervals.
Here at Heightsafe Systems, we work closely with Building Owners and Managers, to provide Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) programmes for the maintenance of all BMU’s including Cradles and Gantries. Our advanced PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) inspectors are fully trained in accordance with FDQ Level 3 and can maintain and repair all BMU’s to the required standards.
It’s worth noting that regular checks for wear and tear and corrosion must be carried out on the BMU.
Our sister company, HS RoofClad, continues to provide industry-leading bespoke Roofing and Cladding services, as well as helping clients navigate the EWS1 landscape. You can find out more by visiting HS RoofClad’s website here.
If you would like some more information on the BMU maintenance services that we provide, contact Heightsafe Systems on: 020 3819 7199