SAEMA SPECIAL MEETING Façade access: Choosing and using the right solution

As part of an ongoing consultation process, SAEMA recently hosted a meeting between its member companies and those organisations – architects, designers, consulting engineers and contractors – involved in specifying and managing façade access equipment and systems. Also in attendance were representatives from the local authority, insurance and trade association sectors.

The purpose of the meeting, chaired by SAEMA chair, Martyn Reed, was to
consider and evaluate the safety and performance implications arising from the increased use of rope access techniques as a permanent method of providing façade access for cleaning and light maintenance duties.

Whilst everyone present acknowledged the role of rope access, it was clear from the outset that, without exception, the inappropriate, and, in some cases, dangerous use of the method – often on the basis of price alone – was causing major concern to everyone present.

After considerable discussion, and to help address this issue, it was agreed that over the coming weeks and months the Association would:

1. Reiterate the need for developers, architects and contractors to engage with SAEMA members at the earliest possible stages of a project‘s life to determine and implement the best access solution;

2. Raise awareness and understanding of the crucial role of the duty holder under the relevant regulations and standards;

3. Produce a project planning template designed to assist specifiers and decision makers in arriving at the safest and most effective and efficient access solution;

4. Research the need for nationally available SAEMA training designed to promote safety and best practice when using façade access systems and equipment.

These documents will be made available as quickly as possible and posted on the SAEMA website.