TWO brothers from Fleetwood are on their way to the top after launching a rope access training centre.
Carl and John Jordan, from Wire Rope Inspections, run C & J Inspection Services and Training and have started their new venture at Whitehills Business Park in Blackpool after taking over a unit there.
They founded an operations company in 2006 in Fleetwood and quickly realised the potential of rope access – the use of climbing and caving ropes and gear instead of traditional scaffolding to carry out work on high or difficult to access buildings.
John said: “I used to be a scaffolder and one day I saw these rope access lads turn up and do a job it would have taken me three hours to set up for.
“I looked into it and it just went from there. The sector has grown rapidly since then. There is huge demand. It is 70 per cent cheaper than scaffolding and less intrusive.”
His brother Carl said: “It originated from caving and then the cavers and climbers started to industrialise it in the 1980s and set up the governing body IRATA. Now there are about 80,000 people registered.
“You quite often see them now working on iconic buildings such as Big Ben. The other day I saw some guys working high up at the Pleasure Beach.”
He said they now employ around 30 subcontractors who carry out work such as non destructive testing, painting and blasting, electrician work and welding for a wide variety of industries.
“We have had people working off shore in the oil and gas industry, people working in Dubai, Trinidad, Khazakstan, and closer to home in Morecambe Bay and the North Sea and in the petrochemical industry.
“It is one of the safest means of access and heavily regulated. We are now offering training at our new centre for people who need to work this way.
“An ordinary painter or electrician can come along and get full training to work with ropes.”
Carl said they decided to move into the training side and moved to Whitehills where they offer three levels of training all fully covered by industry standards.
He said anyone who is reasonably physically fit can train, if they have a head for heights.
Rope access teams generally work in teams of three, or four if working offshore, and use a working line plus back-up line for safety with industry regulated harnesses and equipment.
John said: “The course takes four days and is quite fun.
“Some find it hard work, you use muscles you don’t normally use and people try to use their arms rather than pushing up with their legs. People get a great sense of achievement when they get their pass from the independent assessor.”
He said people can pop in for a visit or book training on their website www.cjis-ltd.com.