/ Bolting advice
Unfortunately google has less than its usual helpful self. I thought the best person to point me in the right direction was a climber. I have some climbing experience, about 9 months before the birth of my now 6 month old baby girl, me and my wife were weekly visitors of the Glasgow Climbing center. So belaying and figure of eight knots are no problem for me.
What I am stuck with, is where to buy bolts and what type should be used on brick, or sandstone. I know drilled holes have to be thoroughly brushed out and cleaned with compressed air.
Allot of fall arrest kits for sale have huge hooks for scaffolding, what would be the best for this situation.
I have no experience of bolting (I am sure people will be along soon who have) but I'd imagine that bolts into brick work, particularly any older crumbly bricks, would likely impart very high stresses into the bricks if fallen on; particularly if the lanyard is long, allowing the person to fall further. Thus I would guess you'd need quite a few of them which probably won't go down well with customers.
I have read through all the relevant regulations, many window cleaning companys use fall arrest kits to conform with the Working at Heights Regulations.
Unfortunately the rules are often very vague and don't offer allot of practical advice.
You really need advice from a rope access person who works on buildings, not a climber. I could guess, having placed bolts for climbing, but wouldn't like you to rely on my advice.
If you google 'bolt products', you'll get an appropriately named company, run by a guy called Jim Titt. He's been climbing nearly as long as I have (we're talking close on 50 years!) He can get you bolts and (more importantly) he can give you advice that is - pardon the pun - rock solid.
I have been looking at Petzl - Bat'inox glue in's. I ll take a look at Bolt Products, thanks Mick.
The owners of the buildings will want to know about this from the point of view not only of liability but damage to the structure. They will want the work done properly with proper indemnities.
I was thinking an entirely different equipment company, tbh. Five letters, starts with "T".
For the actual bolt you can use either climbing/caving specific ones or get one some from a DIY store like Wickes or probably Screwfix and add your own hanger. Hangers can be made easily out of angle iron if you've got a drill to drill a couple of holes.
You'll also need a drill to drill the bolt holes in the building For climbing a powerful cordless SDS drill is used, a Hilti or a Bosch and if you don't have one these are expensive. Some types of bolt are designed to be used as a drill too. You just whack them with a hammer. This can take a while though, but no need to spend £500 on a drill. If you go for that option look of 8mm bolts. These are smaller and thus drill faster than the more standard 10mm. When bolts were first used for sport climbing these were used everywhere and never failed.
Alternatively for drilling get a long extension and used a mains powered SDS drill which are much cheaper: around £100.
As has been mentioned above it isn't just a case of slapping in a few Screwfix bolts and bashing on. They will have to be installed by a competent person and inspected Prior to use and load tested at intervals throughout their lifespan. You may also have to Identify if a fixed travel restraint system may be more to your needs.... This website lays out quite a lot of the pertinent issues you need to look at.
Feel free to PM me if you need any advice.
And remember to mention to your client that Safety measures like this may seem expensive but they are a tiny fraction of the cost of having an accident.
I agree, I've never bolted anything but I obvs have used bolts climbing, they are designed to hold a fall every now and then, where I imagine for window cleaning they will be under constant load on a regular basis.
Also in office buildings I've worked in I've seen window cleaning bolts, they don't look anything like climbing bolts, they are larger ands rounded. They also tend to have a sticker attached saying when they were last checked and with a load of regulatory crap on them.
The construction industry would be where to go for this, a fall protection company I imagine.
What do the owners/occupiers of the buildings you clean say on the matter? I'm pretty sure it shouldn't be up to you to make your working environment safe(r).
As an architect, under the CDM regulations, we have to design out risks associated with working at height, whether that's by mansafe systems (pretty much frowned upon these days), edge protection or other means.
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