Industry News

New test regime at Guttermaster

If you are an employer or you control work at height (for example facilities managers or building owners who may contract others to work at height) the HSE’s Work at Heights Regulations 2005 apply to you.

It therefore follows that roof edge detail; including appropriately designed, stable and strongly fixed wall capping should be high on the agenda for construction projects involving parapet walls at the roof perimeter.

North West roofing specialist Guttermaster Limited was first in the industry to test the reliability of its Snaplok Wall Capping system in the event of hurricane force winds.

The company is now evolving a new test to establish at what point its capping deforms or causes rope damage to abseiling-standard ropes used by window cleaning firms, steeple jacks and high rise facade repairers across the UK.

Historical tests undertaken by IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) for the HSE in 2001 revealed that sharp concrete or metal edges caused rope failure through cutting and abrasion whereas a radiused edge protected the rope for much longer.

The smooth radius edge of Guttermaster’s Snaplok capping has so far proved to be very rope friendly and the planned testing will appraise its performance where stretching and lateral motion cycles will be carried out for periods of up to two hours.

“Whilst we’re not seeking to rewrite the specification on rope safety” said Guttermaster MD, Mike McKee, “we are keen to push the technology in order to safeguard high risk workers and to prove to our growing customer base that attention to detail at the manufacturing stage, ultimately protects their reputation, their legal position whilst also of course protecting life and limb.”

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