Work-at-height specialist Skysite is celebrating 20 years of business this year, with the company evolving from handling small cleaning and rigging projects to big and diverse projects, increasing its competency and service offering to divisionally managed offices in the Western Cape and Gauteng, says Skysite MD Simon Hareb.

“This ensures that specialist labour is available in each discipline, as our divisions include services for industrial, waterproofing, rope access, temporary and permanent fall-arrest and fall-restraint systems, as well as building maintenance, signage and cleaning.”

He adds that Skysite is continuously looking for innovation and new service offerings or products. The research and development department strives to incorporate international best practice into its service offering by conducting written and practical in-house staff assessments.

“A constant re-evaluation of our method statements ensures that we fine-tune the small things that can make a big difference to the final product. From a safety perspective, we ensure an accurate logging and tracking of all incidents and evaluate where new systems or products could mitigate the risks.”

Cleaning Project
The company is currently involved in cleaning buildings of top-tier hotel chains, corporate buildings, as well as residential buildings. “We ensure that there are competent on-site managers who oversee that quality, health and safety requirements are met, as well as ensure that the general conduct of the team is of a high standard,” he points out.

Hareb says all the sites where Skysite works have specific files, including a detailed scope of work and any specific requirements, and the company keeps in constant communication with clients regarding project progress until the work is completed.

“All our rope access technicians are trained externally, assessed through the Institute for Work at Height (IWH) and constantly monitored through our in-house assessments, systems and practices to conform to the South African National Standards for rope access.”

The company completed the external redecoration of La Cornieche, an apartment block in Clifton, Cape Town, completed last month. The work required significant structural repairs to bring the building’s structure back to a sound base to allow for recoating.

Skills and Accreditation
Since its inception in 1998, Skysite has permanent maintenance and cleaning crews working on many of the country’s premier buildings, and a proven record for the professional, safe manner in which projects are completed within budget and on time.

Hareb indicates that the company is ISO 9001:2008-compliant and a member of IWH, which is a registered training provider and to whose standards rope access trainers need to adhere to when assessing applicants.

“This enables us to check if the certification of an applicant is legitimate, as forgery has been an issue in the past. Industry bodies, such as IWH, are important to remove some of the grey areas in our industry and provide accepted best practice for contractors to comply with.”

One of the challenges that Hareb highlights is that a number of job applicants who want to work for the company do not pass the in-house assessments for basic rope access competency, and need to undergo more internal or external training.

He concludes that many of the services that can be carried out using rope access require basic numeracy and literacy, as technicians will continuously undergo training to improve their skills and progress within the company.

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