Santosh Chaurasia, General Manager – Sales & Marketing, New Age Construction Equipment Engg. Co.
Santosh Chaurasia
GM – Sales & Marketing,
New Age Construction Equipment Engg. Co.
There is an interesting history behind the bosun chair and rope suspended platforms for working at heights. The boatswain (bosun) was the ship’s officer responsible for maintaining the sea vessel. The seamen used a wooden seat suspended from a rope rigging to access hard to reach areas. Another great incidence was the early use of rope rigging in construction projects such as of Mount Rushmore (1927 – 1939) and the Hoover Dam (1931 – 1936). The US Bureau of Reclamation, which oversaw the Hoover Dam project and has since used the bosun chair for difficult access works, has created guidelines based on modern advancements in rope access work.

Continuous development, modifications and innovations led to the construction industry using rope suspended platforms, which came to be more compactly designed, stronger, reliable and safer. In the present scenario, the construction industry is challenged by fast-track projects, where timely completion is of utmost priority. However, getting skilled workmen is very difficult. The industry is, therefore, totally dependent now on new technologies such as the Rope Suspended Platform (RSP) that minimize use of labour, and reduce time and cost of construction.

Rope Suspended Platform

Commonly known as the gondola or cradle, the RSP is an electrically-operated, temporary suspended access equipment used for working at heights. A movable platform driven by a motor, is suspended along the vertical surface of the building by steel wire ropes through a suspension mechanism placed at the top of the building. The RSP features enable strong construction adaptability, higher constructions, less occupation of construction land, high construction efficiency, easy erection, and need for less manual labour.

The RSP is an easy-to-use and efficient solution, and is being widely used in India for installation of billboards, windows, window cleaning, external renovation, painting and plastering jobs, decoration of bridges, building facades, chimneys, silos and other tall structures, and can be reused for different jobs.

The RSP is fast replacing the traditional bamboo and metal scaffolding. It has advanced safety features like Digital Load Cell, Anti Tilting and Anti Sway Restriction Devices. It is easy to install, dismantle, shift, store and transport, and it takes only 1-2 days for installation with minimum dependency on man power. It has a long life, is easy to repair with lower maintenance cost, and has a good resale/reuse value. As it is permissible to use the RSP for working in heights, it is now the key for big project tendering. Workers are more confident using the RSP due to its large size and flexible dimensions of the working platform.

We have focused on its quality and reliability by using first class materials and components that guarantee long life cycles, high durability, and wear resistance.

Customization in RSP

NEW Age construction
The custom-shape suspended platform is a non-standard suspended platform with specifications that are tailored to meet the requirements in the construction of irregular buildings. It is lightweight, has high utility, high security, and is reasonably priced. Its main part can be moved freely and restructured, making it convenient and efficient to complete construction and maintenance work in irregular shaped buildings.

New Age is an expert in developing customized solutions with higher safety features. Its L-type (90’), C-Shape, Curve-Shape, W-Shape, Square-Shape, Round-shape, Multiple Front Extension Platforms, Front Extension (fixed/ folding) and multiple modifications in Suspension Mechanism/ Parapet Clamping/ Wall Brackets have become trendsetters in the construction industry.

Recently, we designed a very innovative round-shaped gondola for chimney internal works. It is of 6.8 radius, galvanised, 3-ton loading capacity, with 300 m working height. There is an arrangement in the centre to cross a man-material lift inside the platform.

Safety aspects of Suspended Working Platform

A safe system of work should be established for every operation of a suspended working platform. The safety parameters and aspects should be prepared and endorsed by project engineers, safety professionals, related personnel at jobsites, and the building management, and should be distributed to all involved in the job. The safe system of work should be monitored and supervised by a competent person, who must ensure that each and every operation of the suspended working platform does not pose any risk to people working inside or near the working platform.

Safe systems of work
  • Planning and assessment of the operation including selection of a suitable suspended working platform for the type of job and working environment.
  • Following tested method of installation and means of securing the stability of the suspended working platform.
  • Testing and thorough examination of the suspended working platform by a competent examiner.
  • Periodic maintenance including on-site maintenance.
  • Operation and maintenance manual, log book, repair record, and certificates of test and examination of the suspended working platform.
  • Competent person for erection, repositioning and dismantling of the suspended working platform.
  • Termination of the use of the suspended working platform during unsafe conditions.
  • Monitoring and supervision of the implementation of the safety precautions and measures.
Safety rules for operator
  • Every person on the working platform should be at least 18 years old, fit and agile, and not be phobic of heights.
  • He must be suitably trained and have a certificate of training.
  • He must be authorized by the controlling officer to operate.
  • His training must be recognized by the manufacturer of the suspended working platform or by a third-party safety inspection team.
  • He must wear a safety helmet and safety belt when working; the self-locking buckle on the safety belt must be fastened independently, and fixed on the life rope that is tied on top of the building or structural member. The top end of the life rope is not allowed to be fixed on the suspended mechanism.
  • Any operator who drinks, is under great stress, or of unusual mood is not allowed to operate.
  • He is not allowed to wear shoes with a hard/plastic sole, slippers or any footwear that could slip.
  • During operation, it is prohibited to use the ladder, bench, wooden stool and other tools for climbing in the range of the suspension platform, or design or place hoisting devices out of the suspension platform.
  • The operator must access the suspended equipment from the ground, and never from a window high up.
  • It is absolutely prohibited to access the suspension platform from another suspended platform when working.
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