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A carefully-disguised track system allows for safe maintenance



How will a building be maintained once the last subcontractor has left the site? Until recently, it was a question that was seldom asked. Today, that question is usually addressed at the planning stage, says Tim Porter of PBI Height Safety.

"For this project, the architect considered the buildings' exterior cleaning and maintenance needs from day one," he says.

PBI Height Safety installed a track system, shown below, that wraps around the soffit of each building's roof overhang. The track allows an industrial abseiler to move around the building, without having to re-clip themselves into position each time.

"The track system will enable the building to be cleaned by two industrial abseilers over one and a half days, rather than two and a half days. With window cleaning needing to be completed every three months, that represents significant cost savings," says Porter.

While cost savings are important, safety remains paramount, he says.


"Falling from heights is one of the biggest causes of death in the workplace and New Zealand has one of the highest rates in the world. But people are more aware of the issues, and on new buildings almost everyone recognises that something needs to be done."

PBI Height Safety has installed safety systems in commercial and residential projects throughout New Zealand, mainly cable systems.

"The system uses energy-absorbing capabilities, which result in a safe and flexible system," he says.

The company has installed around 35,000 metres of cabling systems in New Zealand, in stadiums, universities, airports, hotels and other commercial projects.

"We generally talk to people at the beginning of a project, and advise on options and costs. It's quite economical to install cabling systems onto concrete and steel structures, but we have the ability and product to surface-mount onto roof sheeting and ply."

For details, contact PBI Height Safety, PO Box 39048, Harewood, Christchurch 8545, phone 0800 357 003 or (03) 357 0093, fax (03) 360 2199. Email:

First published date: 28 June 2008

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