Originally Published In INSITE Magazine.

Abfad Ltd is a company based in the North East of England, established in 1996. They provide services in two unique and distinct areas.

Abfad provides solvent free tank lining systems along with supplying IRATA approved rope access services. Their personnel work at height in all industries where conventional access is impractical or simply not possible.

Whilst these areas of work are both separate and independent, on some projects they have cause to cross over and merge together in various ways.

Who is IRATA?

IRATA is the rope access training, regulatory and standards authority. It is the acronym of the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association. IRATA work with the British Standards Agency to oversee the working at height regulations.

Being a member of IRATA means Abfad’s rope access personnel are all trained and experienced to provide working at height solutions. Whilst operating under the safest possible methods and conditions.

Abfad’s personnel are also trained in emergency rescue and confined space rescue. This type of safety cover work keeps people working at height or within confined spaces safe. The rescue team will be in a position to provide immediate response and rescue should an incident occur.

The benefits of a multi-skilled company

Rope access and tank lining services can combine on various projects. Especially if the storage tank is of a large capacity.

Rope access provides the perfect method to provide unobtrusive inspection of the tank both internally and externally. Doing this by rope access negates the need for any large erection of scaffolding. Once cleaned and degassed all areas of the tank can be inspected safely and swiftly in this way.

Abfad is also called on to coat the outside of above ground storage tanks with a protective coating. Again, rope access provides a method to do this without the need for large scaffolding installations and is a quick and effective approach.

Any external mechanical preparation and blasting can be done from ropes and the coating applied by hand or spray applied.

Abfad rope access personnel use a patented Magnetic Positioning Aid. Developed for this type of inspection and blasting/coating work in conjunction with rope access techniques. This enables them to maintain position and stability on any ferrous structure. Performing the required work with precision.

Access underground

Gaining access to underground storage tanks can sometimes be difficult depending on the size. We rig tripods up at the hatch to lower personnel down into the tank. This also enables them to be winched out quickly in an emergency. Abfad’s rope access and confined space rescue experience make this a very safe method of working.

Abfad has also developed Platform Access Boards. Placed across the diameter of the underground tank, secured on the side walls. These Allow quick access to the tank entrance hatch as well as allowing personnel greater reach to higher elevations of the tank.

So, whilst these two separate entities, rope access and tank lining, might not initially be in synergy with each other, the two go hand in hand. Both of these have many collective and transferable skills which are to the client’s benefit. They provide a cost-effective, safe and quality service through Abfad’s experienced AND multi-skilled personnel.