Raptor rail comes to the UK
The range of working at height safety systems available in the UK market has been broadened recently by the introduction of a proven rigid rail abseil system, which offers safer, quicker and more efficient operation than traditional systems, its suppliers confirm. Using this rail, operatives can move from side to side as well as up and down, thereby enabling a complete sweep of the façade.
And this innovation reflects the growing market awareness of the need to incorporate working at height requirements into increasingly creative building designs. Longer and higher glazing sections in buildings, plus more radical angles and aspects, place new challenges on those required to clean and maintain the buildings once in operation. This has prompted ever-more fall prevention and fall arrest systems from the system designers and suppliers. And so wire and rail systems, abseil anchor points, davits and davit arms, and the like, have evolved in recent years, with the lightweight rigid rail abseil system being the latest to join the list of available options.
Proven in Australia
Branded Raptor Rail, the new system was originally developed by the Sayfa Group of Australia over 5 years ago, and now has several hundred installations down-under, where it is used in fall prevention and fall arrest applications.
This system is now being offered to UK architects, landlords and other safety system specifiers by Sayfa Systems UK, adding further breadth to the dozens of options available. While this may seem like simply adding further confusion to a bewildering array of choices facing hard-pressed specifiers, the reality should be about greater reassurance, rather than uncertainty, the makers confirm, as the correct installation for every building can now be provided. Raptor Rail exceeds all relevant British Standards – adding further reassurance.
Using extruded aluminium alloy rails and a stainless steel internal trolley, with a wide range of fixing options, the new system can be mounted for both internal and external access requirements. It can be fitted to virtually any length of façade due to its rail construction, with standard rails supplied in 3, 4 and 6 metre lengths, although the company has the capability of tailor-making extrusions up to 8 metres in length, if specific installations require. The ability to span 6 metres in one section is seen as a major benefit – particularly when that 6 metre section can support up to two operatives at any one time.
For use inside and out
Applications to date include external fitting for regular window cleaning and maintenance access, as well as internal fitting in aircraft hangars, truck bays or train or tram sheds for cleaning, loading or general access purposes. A further recent installation saw 400 metres of rail installed in a shopping mall to ease the cleaning of atrium windows.
A flush-fitting option allows the rail to be concealed in ceilings where appearance matters, and powder-coating can be applied to match required colour schemes.
The light weight of aluminium alloy means the product is suitable for a wide range of building types, as the building structure can usually easily support any additional weight, unlike alternative steel access structures.
And the availability of 45o and 90o angle bends as standard maximises installation flexibility.
Furthermore, the use of an internal trolley, housed within the rail, reduces the dust gathered by the unit, so reducing the cleaning and maintenance requirements of this system.